A new document out of the state police’s drug enforcement division on marijuana seems to invite federal prosecution to Oregon. The report is called A Baseline Evaluation of Cannabis Enforcement Priorities in Oregon, January 2017. Oregonian/ Oregon Live reporter Noelle Crombie published details and conclusions of the report. The findings of the state police drug cops seem to be written to justify federal prosecutions in Oregon. They will find eager audience in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office, command center the entire US Department of Justice.
The OSP report claimed that Oregon is a major source of marijuana exported to other states. Such alleged distribution would be a clear violation of the Cole Memo, the Obama-era justice department guidance on federal prosecution of marijuana in medically-legal states. As reported by Crombie, the analysis claims Oregon marijuana production exceeds demand:
It found that Oregon has an “expansive geographic footprint” on the black market across the country. A half-dozen counties — Jackson, Multnomah, Josephine, Lane, Deschutes and Washington — “lead the way” in supplying much of what’s shipped out of state, the analysis said.
Some cannabis activists found encouragement in Session’s declaration that parts of the Cole Memo were “valid.” In reality, Jeff Sessions could enshrine the Cole Memo in his office (unlikely) and still wage a ruinous war on in legal state violations of the memo. This would include, specifically, movement of cannabis out of Oregon to other states. Sessions is champing at the bit, telling his prosecutors, before he fired them, to be aggressive. “Happy hunting.”
From the report’s Executive Summary And Purpose:
The focal points of this section are derived from the federal guidance, issued by former
DOJ Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, on –
- Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states
- Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity .
The report’s Strategic Findings:
- Diverted Oregon cannabis has an expansive geographic footprint and has been detected
outside of the United States.
- Six Oregon counties are tied to the majority of diversion activity in the state, accounting for 76 percent of diversion seizures by weight and 81 percent of diversion incidents; these counties were also tied to the majority of destinations.
- Oregon originated cannabis is trafficked to known distribution hubs across the Southeastern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States. Specifically, the states of Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Florida represent statistically significant destinations.
- There is a geographic relationship between the state-authorized Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) registrants and dominant diversion counties (originating counties of diversion activity).
Even if these allegations were true, how negative a situation does that actually make? The OSP drug cops claim eager consumers in states receiving Oregon cannabis are somehow harmed by this agricultural product.
In truth, cannabis is a non-toxic, highly medicinal substance. Residents in other states benefit from distribution to them of high quality Oregon marijuana. Medically, cannabis is often superior to pharmaceuticals for a host of conditions. People can get pain relief without the risks of opioids. Again and again, cannabis shows that it can help reduce opioid addiction and death. Like residents of legal states, citizens in these unfortunately still-illegal states can use cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption, making for safer highways. Federal denial of Oregon cannabis to these Americans reduces their freedom to buy safer products and to make their own health choices.
Were the feds truly interested in anti-drug activities for the health of Americans, they would be pulling over tractor-trailers of the cigarettes that kill 1,300 of their countrymen each day, and burning their lethal contents in Kentucky roadside bonfires. The feds would be raiding the opioid factories and the pharmaceutical companies poisoning small rural counties with 100s of millions of opioid doses. They would be fighting enormous numbers of liquor stores plaguing neighborhoods instead of persecuting relatively safe cannabis.
Unfortunately, Attorney General Jeff Session does not see it that way. He, and the massive Department of Justice he leads, are locked and loaded to undertake persecutions and prosecutions of violations of federal marijuana law. This self-serving Oregon State Police document may give him the quick opportunity to bring down a brutal new war on marijuana in this progressive state, wounding Oregon’s cannabis entrepreneurs, crimping the state’s economy, and shrinking its booming employment.