GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Statewide data shows the Williams area in Josephine County has one of the highest concentrations of medical marijuana patients in the state. This area is exactly where the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement task force is also finding illegal grows.
“We’ve seen an explosion of medical marijuana grow sites in the Williams area and it seems like we do have a large amount in the Takilma and Cave Junction area. They’ve started to migrate from that area to the Williams area,” said RADE detective Ray Myers.
Supporters of Measure 80 believed its passage would have decreased those illegal grows.
“It’s going to reduce the drug cartels by 30 percent. That means they’re going to get out of Oregon. And that means safer communities for us, for our children,” said Sonorml executive director, Lori Duckworth.
But detective Myers believes recreational marijuana would have worsened illegal activity.
“We don’t really need a drug cartel or street gangs competing here when we already have people that are their own drug organizations that have banded together to sell across the United States and by legalizing, it wouldn’t do away with those people that are doing it locally,” said Myers.
Myers believes the twice failed measure is an indication that Oregonians are not ready to accept marijuana and the state isn’t ready to deal with it.
“It might be a time for people to contact their representatives and congressman. Tell them to try and fix the issues that we already have with the medical marijuana program that we have in place at this time,” said Myers
Sornorml says despite the failed measure, it plans to meet with supporters and contact state representatives to forward marijuana legalization.
“We are gathering people from across the state, and we are going to start writing legislation ourselves and getting it introduced to our next legislative session,” said Duckworth.