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This article has been in the making for awhile, and still developing - but this close to the election, I wanted to get this information out there. I also think that it is IMPORTANT that we file election complaints regarding the failure to report this spending - and that is just a start. Whether Measure 80 wins or loses, these 'groups' need to go away. Incidentally, it is worth noting that AGAIN - these election law violations aren't worth diddly (something like $250 for late filings?) and this is why these people get away with this and continue to do it - and Bob faces a 65K fine.

It is also worth noting (but not mentioned in the article below because it is already way too complicated) that the billboard scandal ALSO occurred in Ohio and Wisconsin but was regarding voter fraud (140 offensive billboards that claimed voter fraud was a crime, with the potential penalty listed over the image of a gavel). After outrage, Clear Channel Outdoor (same billboards!) took the offensive billboards down and put up 10 of their own billboards in one of the regions claiming that voting was a right. But there, just like here, the people who paid for the billboards refused to be named. I am 99% sure it is the Family Research Council who is ALSO tied to the Drug Free America Foundation (see www.dfaf.org/links) ..

On to the story (I removed the MANY links from the copy/paste below for ease in reading - but this is all well-sourced at the link, if you want to pursue it further):

Measure 80's opposition, Protect Our Society, evades election laws and oversight   - By Jennifer Alexander for Examiner.com

Measure 80's opposition, Protect Our Society, evades election laws and oversight For Oregonians who primarily get their news from the mainstream media, it may appear that there is a lot of opposition to Measure 80. Multiple editorials rehash the same talking points, almost without fail indicating that our current policies have failed, but yet continue to denounce Measure 80 and call for a "No" vote on the November ballot. Ironically, the opposition all seems to point back to a single, well-funded source of anti-marijuana propaganda. And while it may not be surprising to many long-time advocates for marijuana reform, much of the financing for the opposition traces back to federal grants paid for by our tax dollars! You see, after anti-marijuana billboards were removed from the Portland metro area, many Oregonians are left wondering, 'Who was behind those billboards?' The seven billboards cost $875 each (totaling $6125) and the only registered opposition to Measure 80 is the "Sheriffs of Oregon" who filed a certificate that they would spend no more than $3000, which doesn't require itemized reporting if they remain under that amount. Despite laws that require any individual political expenditures exceeding $750 to be reported to the Secretary of State, so far, no one has reported the spending for the billboards (or any other opposition expenses). The Secretary of State's Office confirmed that the billboards are political expenditures and should have been reported. >> see Video: Shirley Morgan interview denouncing Oregon's medical marijuana program <<

The most likely backer for the billboards seems to be a single person, Shirley Morgan, who claims to be "Founder of Oregonians Against the Legalization of Marijuana" with the assistance of out-of-state beneficiaries and pushers of court-mandated "treatment" for marijuana arrestees that would end with legal marijuana under Measure 80. However, this 'group' appears to be a name only - and it only makes appearances when there is a ballot measure before Oregonians, such as Measure 80. But this isn't the only 'group' Morgan uses to push her anti-marijuana agenda; she is the "founder" of many 'groups.' Her list of 'groups' also includes the "Mount Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime (MHCADC)" (and various other incarnations of the same group, such as the Molalla Coalition Against Drug Crime, who previously paid for a billboard campaign quite similar to the current one)and, it would appear, "Protect Our Society." None of the groups is registered as a valid nonprofit or political action committee within Oregon, despite the fact that the MHCADC received federal grants from "Weed n Seed" funding through 2010. In fact, the MHCADC does not appear to have ever registered in Oregon.

After noticing the billboards, advocates for Measure 80 began a phone campaign to both the owner of the signs, Clear Channel Outdoor, and the group that purchased the domain for the website, Save Our Society From Drugs (SOS). Dan Dhruva, the spokesperson for Clear Channel Outdoor, identified the purchaser of the billboard advertisements as the "Mount Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime" (MHCADC) with a Florida contact number for Save Our Society (SOS). SOS is a Florida-based anti-marijuana organization founded by Mel and Betty Sembler, best known for Straight Inc., their controversial drug treatment centers for adolescents that were forced to close in the early 1990's after multiple state investigations and lawsuits alleging abuse and cruelty. The Semblers themselves proudly describe Straight Inc. as a success, specifically that Straight Inc. "successfully treated more than 12,000" adolescents. The Semblers are the founders of both SOS and Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF). DFAF is another 'group' with many different names - at least six different "divisions" are directly attributed to DFAF on their own webpage, and they often use these divisions to provide the illusion of multiple credible sources in various white papers. They work closely with the federal government, including the ONDCP as well as addiction treatment services throughout the country, and receive significant grant funding (According to Guidestar, in 2010, nearly 95% of their $576,575 in revenue was obtained through grants, and $469,309 was paid out in salaries and other compensations!) Although they operate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supposedly promoting "sound drug policy and education" through "videos and public service announcements", they are known for intentionally timing PSA's to have an influence on political bills and measures.

SOS board members nearly mirror the board of DFAF and both groups operate out of the same office. SOS opposes legalization and strongly supports "drug courts" as the solution to substance abuse throughout the country, a model surprisingly similar to the failed rehabilitation centers previously owned by the Semblers - but now, with the force of the law behind the services - preventing any repeat of previous lawsuits for unlawful imprisonment by patients who were held against their will. On their website, they explain how drug courts will "keep defendants in treatment long enough for it to work": Drug Courts combine drug treatment with the structure of the courtroom. Working as a team, the judge, probation officers, attorneys, and treatment providers cooperate to keep defendants in treatment long enough for it to work. Defendants are supervised closely, routinely drug tested, and held accountable by the judge for meeting their obligations to the court, society, themselves, and their families.

The purchaser of the billboards did not provide the Oregon number for MHCADC, which goes unanswered when called, and that website hasn't had any new posts in over a year. And, although the phone number listed for MHCADC responds with a message that claims it is the "Clackamas County Sheriff's Office working with Coalition for Drug Crime", an inquiry to Officer McClurg at the official number for the Clackamas County Sheriff's confirmed that they were "no longer involved" with MHCADC and the number was not a valid number for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. McClurg was unable to answer when the relationship was severed or why. In a phone interview, Adam Phillips, the Public Information Officer for Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, was also not able to provide any additional information about the group or why the relationship was severed. Other law enforcement officials also seem to be distancing themselves from the group; although Sheriff John Trumbo is quite outspoken against Measure 80 and the designated spokesperson for the Sheriffs of Oregon's opposition campaign against Measure 80, he reportedly told the Oregonian that he doesn't know anyone involved with Protect Our Society. Protect Our Society was a political action committee (PAC) that was created (and discontinued) about three years ago for an attempted 2010 citizens' initiative to repeal the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. According to Election records, the discontinued PAC listed Sheriff John Trumbo, Sheriff Tom Bergin and Officer William Jennings as the three Co-Chief Petitioners of the initiative; Shirley Morgan was the treasurer for the discontinued PAC. Although the initiative failed to gather any signatures or funding, the website has continued to be maintained - only recently adding the page lobbying against marijuana legalization and adding the image from the billboards after they were taken down (and even claiming that she is a real person of only 12-years old!) It is hard to reconcile the fact that Trumbo, a Co-Chief Petitioner for the Protect Our Society initiative, "doesn't know anyone involved with Protect Our Society." In a phone interview, Trumbo discounted the connection, claiming that the initiative was drafted by Kevin Mannix (the 2008 version, including multiple provisions related to his "Anti-Crime Alliance" work, was drafted by Mannix) and that the backers of the 2010 effort (which is only a small portion of what was drafted in 2008) needed names for Co-Chief Petitioners, which he agreed to. But the initiative stalled, and he promptly forgot about it; he claims he cannot recall who asked him to be a Co-Chief Petitioner or who was involved in the effort.

Both the websites for Protect Our Society and MHCADC are registered by Calvina Fay at SOS. When advocates called SOS, spokespersons there also distanced themselves from the 'group', claiming that they simply provide the URL for various anti-drug grassroots groups around the country and they do not maintain the website or have any direct connections with the 'group'. In fact, Amy with SOS claimed that Protect Our Society was a political PAC that "disbanded over three years ago" and that they no longer existed, even though the domain registration was updated on August 31, 2012, according to a WHOIS search. And the Director of Communications at SOS, Lana Beck, claimed they had no contact information for ProtectOurSociety.org other than a generic "contact form" that recently appeared on the website. (Inquiries I sent via the "contact form" have not been responded to). With everyone distancing themselves from their previous connections with Protect Our Society, the 'group' - if it even exists - continues to hide in the shadows. So who is really behind the misleading and offensive campaign and why are they hiding if their motive is really to "protect our society"? Are all these front groups intended to hide the fact that there is little, if any, legitimate opposition to legal marijuana in Oregon? It appears that this group, along with Morgan's other 'groups', doesn't even have any support within the state of Oregon; according to the webpage listing "supporters" for Protect Our Society, it includes only nine different "divisions" of the Florida-based Drug Free America Foundation - none of which is in Oregon! Is this opposition solely to ensure the nonstop stream of court-mandated "marijuana addicts" that are largely average cannabis users who are referred there by "drug courts" for minor marijuana offenses? Clearly, at least in Oregon, prohibitionists are the ones hiding in the "closet."

Now, more than ever, proponents for legal marijuana need to stand up and be heard! There are thousands of supporters for ending the failed War on Drugs in Oregon - and only a few opponents that refuse to be directly confronted to defend their failed prohibition. We can no longer allow the voices of these few to be louder than our own voices. We know that the War on Drugs has failed: it is costing us millions of dollars each year, eroding personal liberties, destroying the futures of millions of Americans and tearing families apart. When confronted with the facts, the majority of Americans agree that marijuana prohibition must end and be replaced with sensible regulations that truly DO protect our society. With little more than a week left until Oregonians will decide on this important issue, we need your help in ensuring Oregonians understand the truth about prohibition and the benefits of legalizing marijuana like alcohol. Make a contribution to help raise awareness about Measure 80 today at www.oregonlawreform.com! Click > here < for the Source story, related links, comments and to post yours.

More on the Drug War Cartel   - Posted by Jim Greig

More on the Drug War Cartel Protect Our Society is the Oregon Chapter of Save Our Society (Robert DuPont, Calvina Fay, Betty Sempler, etc). Shirley Morgan for sure, and Sheriff Tom Bergin and Sheriff John Trumbo are all names that have been openly associated with it in the past - not sure what role they have in active management of the group. The website has recently been updated to reflect marijuana legalization, instead of the strict focus on the "scam" of medical marijuana they had previously while promoting their "repeal medical marijuana and replace it with tax-payer subsidized marinol" petition in 2010.

Also, NOTE: their last name is Sembler. Years back, it was called Save Our Society from Drugs. The plot thickensy in recent years. See "GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab 'Torture' Centers Is Bankrolling Opposition to Pot Legalization in Colorado", here

Marijuana legalization would harm kids, says Smart Colorado, a group advertising stock images ( votenoon64.com) of children along with messages asking for voters to reject Amendment 64, a ballot initiative this year to legalize and tax pot. Smart Colorado, led former Republican senate candidate Ken Buck and a team of Republican lobbyists and campaign operatives, hopes to drive down the popularity of Amendment 64 before Election Day. The supposedly family-friendly group, however, relies heavily on funds from a pair of controversial Republican fundraisers who once led a drug rehab center shut down over wide-ranging child abuse scandals.

Save Our Society from Drugs, a Florida-based nonprofit founded by Mel and Betty Sembler, has given Smart Colorado contributions totaling $151,497 through September, according to *The Nation*'s review of state finance disclosures. That's 95 percent of the money raised by the group so far. The Semblers have been waging a war on marijuana for decades.

Before they led Save Our Society from Drugs, and its sister nonprofit, the Drug Free America Foundation, the Semblers were at the helm of STRAIGHT, Inc., which operated drug abuse treatment centers, mostly for teenagers, from 1976 through 1993. Former clients of the rehab center recount episodes of brutal beatings, rape and systematic psychological abuse.

At one facility in Yorba Linda, California, state investigators found that "STRAIGHT Inc. subjected children to "unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threats, mental abuse ... and interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping and toileting." Samantha Monroe, who was placed into a STRAIGHT Inc clinic in Tampa at age 13, says she was locked in a room, and forced to wear a clothes stained with urine, feces and menstrual blood - a punishment her counselors called "humble pants"."

Richard Bradbury, a former STRAIGHT patient and counselor-turned-whistleblower, told the *St. Petersburg Times* that Monroe's experiences weren't unique. "It was pure child abuse," Bradbury told reporters. "Torture." In 1988, Fred Collins, an 18-year-old college student, paid a visit to his brother, who was in treatment for drug abuse, at an Orlando STRAIGHT Inc. clinic. Counselors accused Collins of being high on marijuana because his eyes were red, and held him against his will for months. The abduction, strip-searches and other abuses ended when Collins managed to escape. He was one of many to win judgments against the chain of drug rehab clinics before it was forced to close after investigations and lawsuits began to mount in several states.

Though the STRAIGHT drug rehab clinic no longer exist, the Sembler network of anti-drug nonprofits have proliferated, in part because of the family's extensive political connections. Mel, who served as a major fundraiser for George H.W., Jeb and George W. Bush, was appointed > as the Ambassador to Italy in 2001. Betty Sembler, awarded "honorary agent status by the DEA," has led various anti-drug commissions and task forces on the state and federal level. Three years after STRAIGHT shut down , the Semblers changed its name to the Drug Free America Foundation, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Drug Free America Foundation, a nonprofit that shares resources, an office and staff with the Save Our Society group financing the Amendment 64 opposition in Colorado, has a contract with the federal government to help small businesses develop their own drug-testing programs for employees. In 2010, taxpayers forked over $250,000 toa Sembler group to oversee a drug-free workplace program for the Small Business Administration. It also helps produce anti-marijuana literature and promotional campaigns. Mel Sembler, who made his fortune in real estate, says his opposition to marijuana use influenced his move to the GOP. He switched party affiliation in 1979, when he claims he found out "[President Jimmy] Carter was doing all this pot smoking and stuff in the White House."

Since then, he's been a proud Republican. Explaining his early support for Mitt Romney (he's now a leader of Romney's Florida fundraising team), Sembler says he accompanied then-Governor Romney to Israel during his first official visit and trusts the candidate's business acumen. Viveca Novak, of OpenSecrets.org, noted that Sembler was spotted on a Romney bundler yacht during the Republican convention last month. Sembler hasn't renounced his sordid legacy with the STRAIGHT clinics. An online biography of Mel Sember posted by his nonprofit proudly touts his role in founding the scandal-plagued rehab centers. The biography cheerfully claims, that during "its 17 years of existence, STRAIGHT successfully graduated more than 12,000 young people nationwide from its remarkable program." There is no mention of the child abuse scandals that led to its downfall.

There's little time to worry about the past. He's waging two battles now: one in Colorado, and another to evict a former Choom Gang member from the White House. Even More on the Semblers can be found >> here << if you've the stomach for it ...

Oregon Sheriff Lies About Involvement With Protect Our Society   by Sam Chapman * October 22, 2012 - for * NationalCannabisCoalition.com ( follow on Twitter @SeriouslySamuel )

Oregon Sheriff Lies About Involvement With Protect Our
Society Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo lied to The Oregonian last week when he said that he didn't know anyone affiliated with a group called "Protect Our Society". Protect Our Society was a Political Action Committee (PAC) that was created for Measure 32, a 2010 initiative which sought to repeal the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA).* According to Election records provided by the Oregon Secretary of State, Trumbo was a Chief Petitioner for Protect Our Society which was discontinued on April 10th, 2012.

So why did Trumbo lie to the Oregonian about his involvement with the group? The PAC was technically discontinued after the petition failed to get any signatures; however they are far from non-existent. Acting from the shadows, Protect Our Society purchased a handful of billboards in the Portland metro area depicting an emaciated adolescent girl who appears to be hooked on meth.

Although the billboards were removed when Protect Our Society refused to divulge contact information to allow those concerned to discover where the money came from to buy the ads, their presence started to raise questions. It's unclear why Trumbo is covering up his affiliation with Protect Our Society, a group that appears to be purchasing ads to unlawfully oppose Measure 80. Trumbo sits on the executive board of the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, which posted an essay opposing Measure 80. The essay, attributed to the Sheriff of Multnomah County Dan Staton and Sheriff of Washington County Pat Garrett along with two others, bears the same headline that appeared on the signs from Protect Our Society ("Marijuana What's good about it? Nothing").

These tactics are not new. Prohibitionists like Trumbo have been teaming up and actively opposing progressive marijuana reform for years. Oregonians for Law Reform has left multiple messages with Trumbo's office, but he has yet to return our calls.

Last, but certainly not least, be sure to vote YES on Measure 80 to put an end to adult marijuana prohibition in Oregon! If you would like to get involved with the campaign there are a few things you can do help.

#1- Make phone calls; go > here < to urge Oregonians to vote yes on Measure 80. All you have to do is sign in through Facebook, Twitter, or via your email address and you can start making calls immediately.

#2- Put a "Yes on 80, End Marijuana Prohibition" sign in the window of your house, car, or wave it around town. Oregonians for Law Reform will have 2,500 signs that we will be distributing throughout Oregon from now until Nov. 6th. Please email info@oregonlawreform.com to reserve your sign today!

#3- Make a donation here! 100% of all contributions will be used to raise awareness and buy more ads in support of Measure 80.

#4- Share this photo on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. I don't ask many favors of my friends, but if you live in Oregon or know anyone who does, PLEASE share this photo. Studies have shown that when you share how you vote and why, your friends who are undecided are more likely to vote the same way.

Click > here < for the story and links. Follow Sam on Twitter @SeriouslySamuel

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