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Want to begin the end of poverty? Want to address the profitable prison industrial  complex? Here is a first step. All you have to do is sign your damn name and vote. C’mon Oregon.

For those who can't afford free speech

By Naivasha Dean, Contributing Columnist

Chances are, you’ve signed a petition or two recently. Advocates looking to get their initiatives on the ballot in November must reach 116,283 valid signatures by July 6, and the impending deadline means that they’re ramping up their efforts. Chances are also good that you’ve encountered a signature gatherer that asked you to sign a petition to decriminalize marijuana.

You might already be familiar with the arguments — our current marijuana laws cost too much to enforce, and they don’t work. But what you’ll rarely hear from the person with the clipboard is that the injustices go much deeper than a matter of principle, or a waste of time and money. Oregon’s 475,000 marijuana users are facing even more alarming collateral consequences — especially if they happen to be people of color.

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