Ellen Rosenblum would be a much better Attorney General for Oregon than Dwight Holton, not least because of her respect for our state's voter-approved medical marijuana act, which Holton almost certainly would continue to undermine -- notwithstanding politically-inspired attempts to downplay his previous attacks against the act.
A few days ago I got an email from a US News and World Report editor who wrote a story analyzing the impact marijuana is having on the Attorney General race (Republicans aren't running a candidate, so likely whoever wins the Dem primary will be the next AG).
I just read your blog post endorsing Ellen Rosenblum for AG. I just completed a long feature piece for US News & World Report about the race, focusing partially on its national implications for marijuana activists:
Thought you and your readers would find it interesting.
Assistant Managing Editor
US News & World Report
Well, I'm pleased to publicize your story on my blog, Simon. Glad to suck up to you. Just keep me in mind next time you need a quote on an Oregon-related story.
Here's some excerpts from Owens' piece.
Oregon has a long and storied history with marijuana. In 1973, the legislature voted to make possession of less than an ounce of pot an infraction with a maximum fine of $100. The legislature then tried to reclassify simple possession as a misdemeanor in 1997, only for voters to reject it in a 1998 ballot initiative.
That same year, a majority of voters approved another ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, making Oregon one of the first states to do so (this initiative became what is now called the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act). Unlike some states—California, for instance—Oregon does not allow the sale of medical marijuana, but rather allows those granted permission to either grow pot for themselves or designate others to grow it for them.
...If Holton loses on Tuesday, it won't be the first time marijuana activists will claim they were able to tip the scales of an election. In 2010, activists ran ads against Steve Cooley, a Los Angeles District Attorney they considered hostile to medical marijuana dispensaries, when he ran for attorney general of California. He lost by a slim margin, and activists think it was their ads that cost him the election.
Lurking in the background of the Attorney General race is the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012, which would allow personal use/cultivation of marijiuana, and regulate commercial cultivation/sale. It looks like backers of the citizen initiative are on track to get it on the November ballot.
Rosenblum would be a much better fit for Oregon than Holton if the Cannabis Tax Act is passed by voters. Here's what's cited as the best reason for progressives to vote for Rosenblum:
Progressives' top-rated reasons for supporting Ellen Rosenblum:
"A few weeks ago, at the Eugene City Club debate, Dwight Holton, candidate for Oregon Attorney General, picked a fight with medical marijuana patients when he called the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act a “train wreck.” Holton went on to say he would work with Republican legislators who in 2011 introduced legislation that would have effectively gut the 1998 voter-approved law. Holton is the same former US Attorney who authorized raids on Southern Oregon medical marijuana providers last fall, depriving over 200 patients access to their legal medicine. Holton hails from Virginia and only joined the Oregon State Bar in 2009. He has never tried a case in an Oregon State Court. Judge Rosenblum has been a lawyer, prosecutor and Judge in Oregon for 36 years."
"Ellen Rosenblum is Oregon. She knows most facets of the job and has new ideas of improving communication between the Governor, the state agencies and her constituents. She's well-balanced and will be able to work with the Legislature and the Courts better than her opponent. Former AGs Dave Frohnmayer and Hardy Myers endorse her and they both know what it takes to make not just a good AG but a wonderful AG. Vote for Ellen."