The well-heeled, politically connected backers of a push to legalize pot in Oregon (Measure 91 on November's ballot) finally have organized opposition—and it's being led by the Marion County Sheriff.
According to state records, a political action committee calling itself "No on 91" formed up yesterday. Its balance sheet is all zeroes so far but, as Willamette Week recently reported, law enforcement types are working on changing that.
The campaign's director, according to the filing, is Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers, who has not returned a call for comment. The official phone number for the campaign, meanwhile, reaches Darrell Fuller, general manager of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, a lobbying group for county lawmen. Fuller didn't answer.
The opposition has work to do. New Approach Oregon, the political group that landed Measure 91 on the ballot, has a big head start in fundraising, and is closing in on $1 million in contributions. Plus, polling suggests public sentiment might have turned in favor of legalizing pot after the decades of institutional racism enabled by the drug war.
And respected civic organizations are piling on. A City Club of Portland committee today released a report that largely recommends passage of Measure 91 (a minority component of the committee disagreed). The City Club is expected to vote later this month on a formal position. If that vote passed, the city club would join the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and retired state Supreme Court Justice R. William Riggs in supporting legalization.