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Jeff Merkley on Drugs

Democratic Jr Senator (OR)


Step up enforcement to combat meth

Over the last decade, Iíve addressed several major public safety challenges. I helped pass a sweeping anti-meth plan that Governing magazine called the ďnationís strictest.Ē Iíve worked to develop a plan that calls for increased federal support to combat meth, add police to the streets, crack down on sex offenders, and protect victims of violent crime.

Right now in Oregon, meth is threatening our communities and casting a cloud upon the future of our state. To take it on we need to increase federal resources to prosecute meth producers. Iíll fight in Washington to add more federal prosecutors in Oregon and increase the capability of the Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate and arrest drug dealers.

We have to step up enforcement, but locking up drug dealers and shutting down meth labs is only part of the puzzle. Iíll also push for investment in proven meth drug treatment programs at the local, state and federal levels and strengthen sentences for property crime and identify theft.

Source: Op-Ed by Jeff Merkley in The Gresham Outlook , Jul 26, 2008

Toughen laws against meth traffickers

Merkley says federal money should pay for 500 more police in Oregon. [Merkley proposes] a $309 million anti-crime package aimed at reversing Bush administration cuts in aid to local law enforcement.

Merkley hopes his crime-fighting proposals will respond to voter concerns about high levels of methamphetamine use and cuts to law enforcement in many Oregon communities.

Merkley wants the federal government to pay the costs of adding another 50,000 local police officers around the country, as well as additional prosecutors and resources for crime labs. He would also toughen laws against meth traffickers, toughen reporting requirements for sex offenders and expand federal laws against child pornography.

Source: By Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian , Jul 2, 2008

Exclude industrial hemp from definition of marijuana.

Merkley co-sponsored Industrial Hemp Farming Act

Sponsor's Remarks:
Rep. PAUL: Nine States allow industrial hemp production or research in accord with State laws. However, Federal law is standing in the way of farmers in these States growing what may be a very profitable crop. Because of current Federal law, all hemp included in products sold in the US must be imported instead of being grown by American farmers. Since 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act's inclusion of industrial hemp in the "schedule one" definition of marijuana has prohibited American farmers from growing industrial hemp despite the fact that industrial hemp has such a low content of THC (the psychoactive chemical in the related marijuana plant) that nobody can be psychologically affected by consuming hemp.

The US is the only industrialized nation that prohibits industrial hemp cultivation. Industrial hemp is a crop that was grown legally throughout the US for most of our Nation's history. In fact, during World War II, the Federal Government actively encouraged American farmers to grow industrial hemp to help the war effort. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government has stood in the way of American farmers competing in the global industrial hemp market. Indeed, the founders of our Nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited Government.

Source: HR1831/S3501/HR525(2013) 12-S3501 on Aug 2, 2012

Other candidates on Drugs: Jeff Merkley on other issues:
OR Gubernatorial:
John Kitzhaber
OR Senatorial:
Jason Conger
Monica Wehby
Ron Wyden

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Page last updated: Aug 07, 2014