HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup in Seattle
In the world of cannabis, West Coast products are internationally renowned for their superior quality. However, often lost in the praise is the fact that the West Coast grow scene also includes Oregon and Washington, which have been turning out top-grade ganja for decades. The roots of the West Coast cultivation scene were sown back in the 70s when hippies, back-to-landers and Vietnam vets, who swore never to be under the thumb of authority again, fled to rural areas with their seeds. In time, Northern California became the nation’s pot capital. Although overshadowed by the Golden State, Oregon and Washington were just as committed to growing top-grade pot and the strains that have flowed out of the Pacific Northwest are among the best in the world.
No Right to Medical Marijuana, Says Montana Supreme Court
Former Oregon Corrections Counselor on Voting Yes on Measure 80
Shelley Fox-Loken used to be a corrections counselor in Oregon and is now a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (http://leap.cc), an organization that advocates for an end to prohibition and is made up of former and current law enforcement officials.
She recently wrote an op-ed piece for OregonLive.com in which she spells out the reasons for voting for Measure 80, a measure to legalize and regulate marijuana in the state.
“I went into criminal justice because I wanted to serve the public,” she writes. “As a corrections official, I thought that by working with inmates I'd be able to help them reintegrate into society, making their lives better and our community safer. I quickly became disillusioned with that noble idea, however, as I saw that rehabilitation, once the overarching goal of the penal system, was increasingly impeded as Oregon's prisons were overrun with people whose only crimes were drug-related.
“Prison used to be reserved for those who committed what we think of when we hear the word ‘crime’ -- murderers, rapists, thieves. But increasingly during the past 40 years, drug users and low-level dealers who've committed no offense other than succumbing to the medical problem of substance abuse have been joining those ranks. In order to prosecute those committing these consensual crimes, we're using resources -- police time, court time, jail beds -- that could be better spent going after those whose victims are all too real.
“Measure 80, the initiative on Oregon's ballot this November that would regulate marijuana like alcohol, doesn't solve that problem entirely, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
“Not only would regulating marijuana free up law enforcement resources to go after the real criminals in society, it would increase public safety in other ways. Right now, the marijuana trade is largely controlled by large and dangerous international drug cartels drawn to the industry because of the huge profits available. Many of these cartels are in Mexico -- which by some estimates has lost 60,000 people to drug war-related violence since 2006 -- although the U.S. Justice Department reports that Mexican cartels are now operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.”
Time will tell what happens in Oregon, but one thing is for sure: legalization gains momentum every day.
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