In ad, Washington sheriff says pot rules working

Of the Associated Press

A prominent law enforcement official in Washington state says in ads set to air Tuesday in Oregon that his state's regulations involving legalized recreational marijuana are working.

In a video ad by the Yes on 91 campaign, King County Sheriff John Urquhart said he supported Washington state's successful 2012 initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.

While he does not come straight out and urge Oregonians to vote for Measure 91, he says driving-under-the-influence violations are down in Washington, and money is going to schools and police, not drug cartels.

“Strict regulations are working,” Urquhart says in the ad. “Here it's really better already. It's your vote, not mine, but it's working here.”

Campaign spokesman Peter Zuckerman says the ad would air on TV and online.

The campaign to defeat Measure 91 has been primarily financed by the political arm of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association.

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin, who has been active in the campaign to defeat Measure 91, did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.

Like similar measures in Washington state and Colorado, Measure 91 would make it legal for licensed growers, processors and retail outlets to produce marijuana for sale to adults in limited amounts under the regulation of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Marijuana would be taxed, with money going to schools, drug treatment and law enforcement.

Oregon decriminalized marijuana in 1973 and legalized medical marijuana in 1998. An earlier measure to legalize recreational marijuana was defeated.

The political arm of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association donated $100,000 of the $168,000 raised by the No on 91 campaign to defeat the measure. That has gone primarily to a mailing targeting 155,000 mothers from Portland to Eugene, warning them of the dangers that candies and sodas containing marijuana pose to children.

With no money for television ads, the campaign has also focused on speaking to civic clubs and debates with Measure 91 supporters to get their message out.

Oregon police chiefs and district attorneys associations have also come out against legalization of pot.


I Am Darren Wilson

Might as well jump right straight to the legalization of cocaine next. You know it's coming.

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