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Pot and Crime To Be On Ballot July 19, 2010

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

Oregon voters will decide this fall whether to approve a network of medical marijuana dispensaries and to impose longer prison sentences for those who drive drunk or commit sex crimes.

The Secretary of State Elections Division on Friday announced that initiatives proposing both changes had enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

They are the first two of six proposed citizen initiatives to make the cut. The crime initiative is likely to wind up as Ballot Measure 73 and the marijuana dispensary initiative is expected to appear on the ballot as Measure 74.

Both measures represent efforts to expand on the work of past citizen initiatives. The proposed network of medical marijuana dispensaries builds upon a 1998 initiative passed by voters legalizing the use of pot as medicine by people who are issued cards by doctors who conclude that the drug could help treat medical conditions such as chronic pain or glaucoma.

Under current law, Oregon’s 36,000 medical marijuana card holders can grow their own marijuana, obtain it through a state-authorized caregiver who grows it for them, or buy it on the street. Supporters of medical marijuana say that’s too limiting for patients. According to the Elections Division, of the 130,702 signatures turned in for the measure, 85,848, or 66 percent, were valid.

The anti-crime measure is supported by Kevin Mannix, a former legislator, frequent Republican candidate for higher office, and the chief sponsor of several tough-on-crime measures in the 1990s.

Most far-reaching among them was 1994’s Measure 11. It set mandatory minimum sentences for several violent crimes. The same concept is at play with his latest measure. If approved by voters, it would set 25-year mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of certain repeat sex crimes. Repeat drunken drivers would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days. Sponsors submitted 136,674 signatures, of which 93,223, or 68 percent, were valid.

Four other proposed initiatives had petition signatures submitted by the July 2 deadline, but are undergoing the verification process to determine whether enough signatures were valid to qualify for the ballot.

Two are related proposals allowing nontribal casinos in Oregon and authorizing one in Multnomah County. The third makes permanent the soon-to-expire dedication of a share of state lottery profits to parks and wildlife programs. A fourth would shift the task of redrawing political district boundaries from the Legislature to an appointed commission.

It is widely expected that of those four proposals, all but the redistricting measures will have enough valid signatures to make the ballot. The Elections Division has until Aug. 1 to complete the signature-verification process for citizen initiatives proposed for the November ballot.



1. J - July 26, 2010

I’m strongly against the 90 day jail time for second DUI’s. This is not going to solve anything. This is not going to help the drunk driver in any way shape or form. This is going to cost TAXPAYERS….and it isn’t going to reduce the number of drunk driver’s on the road or accidents. A better alternative is a mandatory 30 – 60 Day inpatient Alcohol treatmeant at the Expense of the Driver. If the driver is insolvent then the state would pick up the bill. ALSO, inpatient Alcohol treatment is going to be less expensive than incarciration.

2. Protect Our Society - August 23, 2010

This is not about the drunk driver. He had his opportunity during his first DUI in which mandatory treatment is recommended at his expense. This is about public safety and justice for the numbers of people killed and maimed daily by repeat DUI offenders. For that, there an consequences 90 days in jail. Repeat DUI offenders are already costing taxpayers thousand’s of dollars. Vote YES on measure 73.