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Oregon’s Attorney General Race Won by Pro-Pot Supporter

Oregon’s Attorney General Race Won by Pro-Pot Supporter

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/18/2012 in Marijuana Politics

In a primary election race for Oregon’s top law enforcement post, the attorney general position, the candidate who pledged to protect medical marijuana patients scored a decisive victory Tuesday night over a rival who led a barrage of raids on dispensaries. Ellen Rosenblum, a retired state appeals court judge, rode support from marijuana advocates to get to her newly acquired position of Oregon attorney general.

Rosenblum beat out former interim United States Attorney Dwight Holton, who was better known and had more money than the longtime judge. However, Democrats did not respond to Holton’s tough-on-crime message or his support fro most of the sheriffs and district attorneys around the state. With 76% of the votes counted, Rosenblum had already led Holton 64% to 36% in Tuesday’s Oregon primary. After 100% of the votes were counted, Rosenblum had won with 63% of the vote, compared to 37% for Holden.

Dwight Holton also didn’t help anything when he had referred to the Oregon medical marijuana program as a “train wreck”, vowing to work with Republican legislators to fix it somehow. The state’s medical marijuana and marijuana legalization advocates mobilized to defeat Holden and encouraged support for Rosenblum. However, National drug reform activists, heartened by the grass roots response and emboldened by the opportunity to inflict a political price on those participating in the federal crackdown on medical marijuana distribution, mobilized as well.

Ellen Rosenblum’s victory came with the help of marijuana activists who flexed their political muscles in a state that has 55,000 registered marijuana users. Dwight Holton has criticized the state of Oregon’s medical marijuana law and he has overseen raids on medical marijuana growing operations numerous times. Pro-marijuana groups attacked him and steered large contributions towards Rosenblum’s campaign. Rosenblum promised to make marijuana enforcement a low priority while in office.

"Dwight Holton’s defeat in the Oregon Attorney General’s race should be taken as a clear and unambiguous message to US Attorneys around the country and to the national Democratic leadership that attacking state-approved medical marijuana programs is not a smart political move," said Jill Harris, managing director of strategic initiatives for Drug Policy Action, and a native of Eugene, Oregon.

"There’s lots of issues that played into my victory, and that may well be one of them, but I was running on a platform of being an attorney for the people of Oregon, and I think they got it and I think that’s why I won,” Rosenblum said of the surprising emergence of medical marijuana as a defining issue. Also in the primary that was held on Tuesday, presidential candidate Mitt Romney notched another win in his bid for control of the Republican presidential nomination. Overall, Oregon has twenty-five presidential delegates and most if not all of them are going to Mitt Romney. 

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