Exit polls late last night seem to indicate that Ballot Measure 74, which would have developed Oregon’s medical marijuana program even further, had been well and truly defeated. Statewide turnout in the off-year election was in excess of 1 million; measure 74 was on the losing end of a 58%:42% count. Just one county, Multnomah, voted in favour of the measure. Added to the defeat of California’s Proposition 19, this was a sad day for marijuana in general.
And, why malign the Tea Party? Because it’s a known fact that older voters, Republicans and Independents are more likely to vote against marijuana measures. Tea Party supporters are mainly white and slightly more likely to be male, married, older than 45, more conservative than the general population; it was never going to work, was it? The fact that At least nine Oregon police officers have been accused of violating state election laws by campaigning against Measure 74, probably made no difference to the outcome at all.
The nine law enforcement officials were said to include the Medford police chief and a lieutenant, along with an Oregon State Police sergeant and police chiefs in Gold Beach, Brookings and Keizer, plus the Deschutes County sheriff and a police detective in Grants Pass. They are alleged to have violated a state law which excludes public officials from promoting or opposing any measure or candidate as part of their official duties. The penalty for violating the law is $75.