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Oregon NORML and Medical Marijuana Activists Kill Restrictive Oregon Senate Bill 388Tim King Salem-News.com
Stormy Ray's efforts to paralyze the state medical marijuana program go down in flames.
(SALEM, Ore.) - It took eight attempts to amend, but now Senate Bill 388, submitted on behalf of the Stormy Ray Cardholders Foundation and lobbied for heavily by law enforcement, has not been moved out of its committee by today’s deadline, effectively killing it for the 2009 Oregon legislative session.
Oregon NORML’s Executive Director and chief lobbyist Madeline Martinez received the following email from the legislative assistant for the chairman of the committee:
"After consultation with other members of the Senate Human Services Committee this morning, Senator Morrisette decided not to move SB 388 out of committee, effectively killing the bill for this session. He said the bill — or some variation — could be brought back for further consideration if the Legislature meets, as expected, next February.
Despite everyone’s best efforts and multiple amendment attempts, the bill was still meeting strong opposition, from both patients and law enforcement. Sometimes that’s an indication of a successful bill, but it was clear that there was still too much work to be done on this one."
One reason the bill was so heavily opposed by the medical marijuana community, is that it was framed around what NORML calls "the faulty premise" that the OMMP is subject to “widespread abuse”.
Proponent Stormy Ray's support of the legislation, leaves local activists highly suspicious about her numerous relationships with members of the law enforcement community.
The main theory is that Ray collaborated with medical marijuana opponents by agreeing with unfounded charges about the program's lack of success, and that she has her personal "get out of jail free card" in her hand as she tries her best to destroy the OMMP, on behalf of the relentless foes who in the end, only represent the interests of insurance companies and pharmaceutical groups, all anxious to cast marijuana back into the fire at their first opportunity.
All charges about the program not being successful are fabrications, based on our analysis. There are challenges that have been thrown in along the way that are more like road blocks, but the program has solidly grown since being launched. Over 22,000 Oregonians are now legal medical marijuana users.
As to the false charges of about the program, it is interesting to note that NORML disproved all of them in their Gold Standard report.
The group believes these efforts to frustrate and complicate the political process for medical marijuana are motivated by moral, not practical issues.
One of the biggest opponents of the OMMP is business lobbyist Dan Harmon, who now conveniently owns the old buildings that until recent weeks, were part of the old Oregon State Hospital.
He cuts business deals with Oregon DHS as he tries to savage the state medical marijuana program. Harmon's memorable quote is that the medical marijuana law “says something about the permissiveness in this state”
He may be laughing all the way to the bank, but this isn't a victory day for Dan Harmon and sick people using medical marijuana to stay alive and maintain some degree of quality living, say the death of 388 is a great step.
Special thanks to Radical Russ and Oregon NORML for information in this report.
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