On Tuesday, we heard from Tim, a farmer in The Dalles, who explained why the Fresh Start Oregon campaign would dramatically improve the lives of him and his family. Today, we hear from Phil Studenberg, a lawyer in Klamath Falls, who has worked tirelessly in support of individuals with convictions for nonviolent marijuana charges. He supports the #FreshStartOregon campaign, and his story is as follows:
My name is Phil, and I’ve been an attorney for 37 years, most of them doing criminal defense work. I have repeatedly seen the destructive impact of a felony conviction on good people. In the case of marijuana offenses, many of the defendants are young people going to college and pursuing the American Dream. Loss of educational benefits and job opportunities to a marijuana conviction criminalizes people who would otherwise not be in the criminal world, and represents a tremendous loss of human potential for these young, smart people. It is not only the loss to the defendants, but a profound loss to our society at large, when these talented people and their families face unnecessary barriers to economic stability. It is time to stop prosecuting them and clean up the criminal records of these victims of a senseless War on Drugs!
We’ll have news in the upcoming days about the next steps that you can take to help us pass this monumental, first-of-its-kind legislation here in Oregon; we’ll be hosting phonebanks in our Portland office in the near future. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, we need to continue to collect signatures to demonstrate to our legislators that this is an urgently-needed, immediate priority for an Oregonian electorate that is ready to move on from the failed War on Drugs. If you haven’t already signed our petition, please do so:
…and if you’d like to help collect signatures amongst your peers, classmates, coworkers, and family, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get you set up.