By Matt Ferner A coalition of law enforcers has come out in support of marijuana legalization in Oregon, less than a week before voters will decide the issue at the polls.

“Treating marijuana as a crime has failed,” 30 former police officers, sheriffs, prosecutors and judges write in a letter released Wednesday by Yes on 91, the campaign supporting legalization in Oregon. “Arresting and citing thousands of people in Oregon and elsewhere for marijuana-related crimes is a distraction to law enforcement and a misuse of taxpayer resources. The time and money spent should go to make our communities safer. Police resources should be focused on violent criminals, thieves and criminal cartels.”

Signers include Pete Tutmark, former Oregon County deputy sheriff; Kris Olson, retired U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon; Norm Stamper, retired Seattle police chief; Tony Ryan, former Denver Police Department lieutenant; and Stephen Downing, retired Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief.

Oregon’s Measure 91 would allow adults to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana at home and up to one ounce in public. Taxes on marijuana sales will fund schools, law enforcement, and drug prevention and education programs. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission would regulate and monitor the industry.

Voters in Alaska and Washington, D.C., also decide legalization of recreational cannabis on Nov. 4. Florida voters decide whether to legalize medical marijuana.

Recent polls show Oregon legalization supporters with a slight edge, 46 percent to 44 percent. Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) has signaled his support for legalization.

“I hear the drumbeats from Washington and Colorado,” Kitzhaber said in January. “I want to make sure we have a thoughtful regulatory system. The legislature would be the right place to craft that.”

The state could reap $17 million to $40 million annually on marijuana taxes, the …read more

Source:: Weed Feed