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Doing Time, And It Ain’t a’Changin’



Any front page Oregonian news featuring a baby boomer is good news for boomerpdx.

But there’s a problem.

It’s about a retired man moving up in his career, a man with a sail in the winds of progress.

That’s not the problem.

Baby boomers drive entrepreneurship. You can’t walk into a coffee shop without seeing gray hair and laptops, or painted hair and laptops. Either way, they’re working web.

Probably big-time bloggers or freelance writers?

But that’s not the problem.

As the senior writer for boomerpdx, I make an effort to avoid lightning rod subjects and focus on their context. With that said, the front page Oregonian story is about a retired 54 year old DEA man.

From the paper, “Paul Schmidt, who until 2010 served as the highest-ranking DEA agent in Oregon, now works as a medical marijuana business consultant.”

Maybe it’s just me, but anyone called the highest ranking DEA agent sounds like a hammer of the law. A big hammer. The highest ranking DEA hammer in Oregon.

Now he advises the medical marijuana industry. He said he’s “long been interested in the drug’s botanical background and its medicinal potential.”

If he said he “bought Playboy for the writing” back in the day, you’d believe this one.

Don’t blame hippies, stoners, heads, or The Dead. Don’t blame Ken Kesey with his Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s not personal.

All Mr. Schmidt does is provide a service to emerging startups. Smart business people hear his talks for $95. No one trades a bag of weed for a seat. These are serious people buying serious time from The Heat, (ret.)

Then there’s the back story.

From the paper: “as a federal drug agent, he (Paul Schmidt) testified in marijuana cases in Oregon…”


Oregon Laws & Penalties


Less than 1 oz misdemeanor N/A $ 650
Less than 1 oz within 1000 feet of school grounds misdemeanor 30 days $ 1,250
1 – 4 oz misdemeanor 6 mos $ 1,000
4 oz or more felony 10 years $ 375,000
Possession of 150 g or more is punished more severely.


Cultivation  of any amount marijuana is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years  imprisonment and/or a fine up to $375,000. If the amount cultivated is 150  grams or more, the punishment is more severe with the term of imprisonment  varying depending on the offender’s prior record. Cultivation within 1,000 feet  of school grounds is  a Class A felony but is punished more severely with  the term of imprisonment varying depending on the offender’s prior record.

Maybe NORML needs an update, maybe not, but you’ve got to think there’s still a few weed criminals serving time after the top DEA agent in Oregon testified.

This has to be crushing news to them.

It’s like Peyton Manning going to the Baltimore Ravens instead of the Denver Broncos because the Colts were once the pride of Baltimore. Before signing a contract he sneaks into town and lays some Tonya Harding wood on Joe Flacco the same way Nancy Kerrigan got it. Joe asks why, why, why, too.

Then he puts on the Hall of Fame Johnny Unitas jersey and won’t take it off. The Ravens win the next seven Super Bowls and everyone forgets about the way it started.

But not everyone forgets. Not everyone forgives. That’s what lawyers are for.

Mr. Schmidt knows Mr. Schmidt best, but it must look weird from the inside.



About David Gillaspie
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