AG: Medical marijuana separates Holton & Rosenblum

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

With just a few weeks left before Democratic voters select the next Attorney General (because Republicans couldn't find a single lawyer that wanted their nomination), the campaign has been fairly sleepy so far.

The two candidates - Dwight Holton and Ellen Rosenblum - debated on Friday before the Eugene City Club. The Register-Guard's Winston Ross has the rundown of the debate. It was mostly an amicable debate with some differences in priorities, but not really in positions.

Except one. Buried at the tail end of the R-G story was this news nugget:

Rosenblum said she supported the state’s medical marijuana law as one that “provides vulnerable citizens with the medicine they needed to cope with their diagnoses.”

But Holton said the law is actually “a train wreck, putting marijuana in the hands of people, kids, who are not using it for pain management purposes. Of 50,000 card holders, 30,000 got them from 10 clinics. We’ve got a broken system.”

What do you think? Does Oregon's medical marijuana provide vulnerable citizens with medicine they need - or is it a "train wreck" and a "broken system"?

Comments

  • (Show?)

    I wonder if the candidates who are pro-prohibition would also be in favor of this plank from America's third oldest political party.

    "Illegal Drugs – Tobacco – Alcohol The alcohol issue sets this unique Party apart from all others. This Party has opposed the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages since 1869. Alcohol is America’s #1 narcotic drug problem. The use of alcohol and tobacco is responsible for 40% of the total cost of health care in America. We believe a program of education and legislation, coupled with sober leadership, will result in a change in society’s attitude regarding the alcohol issue. Tobacco is known as the “gateway drug,” meaning that early use of tobacco leads a person into the use of stronger drugs. We support programs to help tobacco farmers transition to growing alternative crops. Until alcohol and tobacco are again covered under a stronger Volstead Act, we support higher taxes on both. We oppose legalizing any and all mind-altering, behavior-modifying drugs, unless controlled by the federal Food and Drug Administration, and then for medicinal purposes, only. We demand that the President and Congress deal severely with all foreign government having a part in illegal drugs entering the United States of America." http://www.prohibitionparty.org/2012platform.html

  • (Show?)

    I believe that Kari and Joshua are mis-interpreting what Dwight said. He did not say he opposed medical marijuana, he said that the current system isn't working. Frankly, I don't think that there are many Oregonians, including pro-marijuana legalization folks, who believe that the current system works well. The last ballot measure tried to clean up the system, but got voted down. I also don't think that many people want to have under-age kids get easier access to marijuana than alcohol.

    Yes, we should have medical marijuana, but the current system is a mess. Beyond medical access, full legalization is not an issue for the politicians, it is an issue for the citizens. While polling shows more support today in the abstract, I suspect it would get voted down again if it was on the ballot today, but supporters should prove me wrong.

    • (Show?)

      I don't think Kari is mis-interpreting anything. He simply copied the quotes that the reporter wrote.

      I would really be interested in hearing what the candidates think about what happened in Portugal with their drug and alcohol laws. Now that it has been over 10 years might be time to seem some studies of the results.

      • (Show?)

        Kari posed the question as if the two statements were in conflict. One can support medical marijuana for those who truly need it and get a valid prescription and still believe that our current system does not do that well, especially as it applies to under-age access.

        Did Ellen comment about the quality of the current system and dispute what Dwight said?

        • (Show?)

          'Twas the R-G reporter who posed them as being in conflict. If Dwight - whom I have met and found to be a thoughtful and reasonable guy - has been misunderstood, he knows how to find me.

          I think a comment here, or a guest column, from either candidate would be well-received.

  • (Show?)

    I'd first look to those who have been dealing with prosecution of criminal offenses, when trying to evaluate whether there's a problem with marijuana. And by that, I don't mean finding out what the latest "tough on crime" position is, because that's not what we're talking about. If we've got kids using marijuana, then yes, we've got a broken system.

    And don't confuse legalization with an analysis of kids, because tobacco is legal, but we still try to keep it away from 18-year-olds. Personally, I'd like an AG that enforces the law, and when asked by legislators (who actually create the laws), contributes his/her views on the prosecutorial realities of the law.

    In the final analysis, the AG runs the largest law firm in the state, focused on enforcing the state's laws. Having done that successfully at the U.S. Attorney's office, Dwight Holton seems uniquely qualified to do it for the State.

      • (Show?)

        If the person who is supposed to enforce the law (something you say means being a "Yes Man") says "I won't enforce the law," or says "I'm just not interested in enforcing this law," that person has failed in their job. What you describe as "injustice and stupidity" is not regarded as such by those people who make our laws; if you disagree with those laws, go to the legislators. By analogy, you might not like getting a speeding ticket; the cop should still give the ticket (perhaps sometimes using discretion not to), but if you don't like the speeding law, go to the legislature.

        • (Show?)

          "If the person who is supposed to enforce the law (something you say means being a "Yes Man")"

          Now here are you're words:

          "I'd like an AG that enforces the law, and when asked by legislators (who actually create the laws), contributes his/her views on the prosecutorial realities of the law."

          Conveniently you cherry picked "enforces the law" instead of the last part of the sentence (contributes their views when asked by legislators) which describes a Yes Man. It's obvious your a Holton supporter but let's try to have an honest discussion.

          If you think marijuana prohibition is not stupid but is actually smart policy please explain.

          Here's what happened Jonathan. A question was asked about marijuana policy to two candidates. Those two candidates gave very different answers which reflect different beliefs. If you and Holton think that MM is damaging Oregon, i.e., "a train wreck" then take responsibility for that position. Please tell us how it's hurting Oregon and why we should use economic and human resources to address this "train wreck." Part of being a good AG means being able to recognize real problems and prioritizing those problems. Holton's response to this question about MM simply doesn't bode well for him. The people that were not already supporting him seem to see that quite clearly.

        • (Show?)

          From Bill Ryan:

          "Does anybody really believe that HS kids can't score a bag of marijuana any time they want it from street and peer sources? Does anyone really believe that our Medical Marijuana law is at fault for HS students' use of marijuana? The way forward is to expand legal access to marijuana, and to use the profits to lower our taxes instead of sending it to the Mexican drug cartel."

    • (Show?)

      http://wweek.com/portland/blog-27225-us_attorney_oregon_m.html

        • (Show?)

          Not to get all factual, but as a general matter, I believe that marijuana actually is illegal under state and federal law.

          • (Show?)

            FTW!

    • (Show?)

      Evyn, thanks for that additional context. That's very helpful.

      I think it was the R-G reporter who framed it as an either/or, not me: "Rosenblum said she supported... But Holton said..."

      But as others have said here, it's certainly possible to support the law and to think that it is flawed.

  • (Show?)

    Aaron – Nice meeting you as well. You’re creating confusion about what Dwight said. Dwight has been completely consistent on this issue. As US Attorney, his office didn’t prosecute anyone who was complying with Oregon law. As the article states, state law prohibits the sale of marijuana for any purpose.

    As Attorney General, Dwight will uphold and defend Oregon’s voter approved medical marijuana law.

    • (Show?)

      I suspect that there is not a lot of difference in actual policy between Ellen and Dwight on this issue. If this is the issue that will be your deciding factor in this race you need to learn more about what both candidates are actually planning to do.

      • (Show?)

        It's rather disappointing just how little coverage there has been from the press.

        I think WW's decision to not cover the race was the right one, but I fear that it's caused the O to drop the story too. It seems that competitive pressure makes a difference.

    • (Show?)

      There is a fundamental difference between being a judge, and being a prosecutor. Judge Rosenblum was a great trial and appellate judge; Dwight Holton was a great U.S. Attorney, and did a great job managing the U.S. Attorney's office. The latter experience is more important than the former.

  • (Show?)

    Are you sure Holton is a Democrat? He sounds like a Republican to me: There's problems with the system so lets throw the whole thing out regardless of the impact.

    (Yes, I recognize he didn't say that explicitly. But by making such a broad critique without offering a solution, he implied it.)

    • (Show?)

      Tim, you are taking an edited quote and interpreting it as a broad policy position. He did not and does not say that the whole policy should be "thrown out" and does in fact have ideas on how it can be improved. The above quote was not an answer to your question on what should be done to improve it.

  • (Show?)

    Need to contribute to Rosenblum and change my registration back to D.

    Holton just motivated me. I would like to thank you for running this and to Holton for tipping his hand.

  • (Show?)

    Anyone who believes people not being busted for cannabis possession is a problem will not get my vote for AG.

  • (Show?)

    I'm mad as heck. Before you decide who to vote for our next AG, visit www.NotDwightHolton.com and on our Facebook page.

  • (Show?)

    Clearly, Ellen Rosenblum is the better choice for progressive Oregonians. Electing Holton will only cost taxpayer dollars as the state will spend limited law enforcement resources enforcing federal marijuana laws. Not to mention the fact that sick and disabled patients will have to go without their medical cannabis or be forced to turn to the underground market.

    If we can't count on our Attorney General to stand up for the will of the voters on medical cannabis, we won't be able to count on his support if other state laws get attacked by the federal government. Please support Ellen Rosenblum for Oregon Attorney General.

  • (Show?)

    Take that marijuana opponents!

    http://www.theweedblog.com/anti-marijuana-candidate-dwight-holton-loses-election-to-ellen-rosenblum/

connect with blueoregon