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Jul-07-2010 00:14printcomments

New Initiative for Regulated Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Bound for Oregon Ballot

Sick and dying patients in Oregon may soon have an option to “growing their own”.

Medical marijuana
Elvy Musikka, federal medical marijuana patient, with Billy Kyle Locasci, who is believed to have collected more signatures on I-28 than any other signature gatherer in Oregon history. Photo by Anthony Johnson

(SALEM, Ore.) - Sponsors of a new medical marijuana initiative announced that they have collected nearly 130,000 signatures on petitions to place Initiative #28 on Oregon’s November 2010 ballot.

The new initiative would add a regulated supply system of dispensaries and producers to the current medical marijuana law, which requires patients to produce their own medicine.

The Coalition for Patients’ Rights 2010, working with Voter Power, needed to turn in a total of 82,769 valid signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State by July 2, 2010, to place the measure on the November ballot. Backers of the dispensary initiative turned in over 109,000 signatures by the May 20 early turn-in deadline. On June 18th, the Elections Division released the results of their verification that indicated that 74,537 (68%) of these signatures were valid and that 8,232 more signatures were needed.

At 1:00 p.m. on Friday, the chief petitioners, Jim Klahr, Alice Ivany, and Anthony Johnson submitted 22,879 additional signatures. “We need less than half of this final submission to be valid to qualify, so we are very confident the dispensary initiative will be on the ballot this fall,” said John Sajo Director of Voter Power.

The Oregon Regulated Medical Marijuana Supply System, which I-28 creates, will be funded by license fees and taxes on dispensaries and producers. Read the entire Initiative text here:

Co-author John Sajo and Chief Petitioner Jim Kahr

The medical marijuana program is self-funded and has already contributed over $1 million to the general fund. The Voter Power Foundation estimates that I-28 will raise from $10 million-$40 million the first year. Revenue exceeding the costs to administer the program will be spent by DHS on other health programs.

Polling commissioned by Voter Power showed that 59% of Oregon voters support the measure.

Current law requires patients to grow (up to) 6 mature marijuana plants or to designate a grower to do it for them. Producing their own medicine is a big headache for many sick and ill patients, and for some is literally impossible, but it remains a felony for anyone to sell them marijuana.

I-28 will allow licensed nonprofit dispensaries to sell medical marijuana to registered patients. Licensed producers will grow the marijuana and sell it to dispensaries. Both dispensaries and producers will be subject to inspection and auditing by the health department.

All employees will have to be over 21 years old and pass criminal background checks. Dispensaries will not be located near schools or in residential areas and must submit security plans with their applications to DHS.

“This initiative gives the Health Department the authority to create a tightly regulated system that will provide access to patients while minimizing abuse,” Sajo said.

I-28 also creates a program administered by the health department which will provide medicine to indigent patients, and allows DHS to conduct research into the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. Backers foresee a process where DHS does the research necessary to establish quality control standards for medical marijuana.

“Quality control standards will result in medicine labeled with the strength of the active ingredients and certified to be free of contaminants. This will allow doctors to advise patients about proper dosage,” added Sajo. ”Research will also indicate how marijuana can be best used for various medical conditions.”

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program was approved by voters in 1998, and currently has nearly 40,000 patients that have been registered by over 3200 different Oregon physicians. There are thirteen other states where medical marijuana is legal, and several more will be going in front of voters this fall.

For more information on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, go to:


Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King

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ommd September 1, 2010 2:36 pm (Pacific time)

OMMD will deliver medicine to patients with a valid OMMP card and picture ID; reimbursement for cost of supplies and not for labor.
 See: Medicine must be provided to patients for “no consideration,” which means no money or anything of value may be charged. ORS 475.304(7) A patient or the patient’s designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may reimburse the person responsible for a marijuana grow site for the costs of supplies and utilities associated with the production of marijuana for the patient. No other costs associated with the production of marijuana for the patient, including the cost of labor, may be reimbursed.  (
 (7) A registry identification cardholder or the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may reimburse the person responsible for a marijuana grow site for the costs of supplies and utilities associated with the production of marijuana for the registry identification cardholder. No other costs associated with the production of marijuana for the registry identification cardholder, including the cost of labor, may be reimbursed. [2005 c.822 §8; 2007 c.573 §2; 2009 c.595 §966] (
 We are a nonprofit corporation for the benefit of the public under Oregon law. WE are very professional and we are security minded- we will contact local law enforcement if we feel threatened!
 Please visit OMMD and fill out the contact information. Will will verify that you are a patient and we will deliver to your address. We are also patients and that allows us to help you.
NOTICE: All local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and departments: It is a violation of civil and human rights to interfere with the legal access to medication. You will be held both personally and professionally liable in civil court for any and all injuries suffered by any patient if you interfere with access to prescribed medical marijuana. It is also a felony to interfere with a patients access to medication and we will work to prosecute anyone.   All visitors: We will prosecute anyone who uses this site for fraud or to obtain medical marijuana without a legal right under their local jurisdiction. We work with local law enforcement to report anyone who uses this site for a crime or fraud. We will pursue all civil and criminal charges.

Sunflower July 8, 2010 7:09 pm (Pacific time)

Making medical marijuana legal is a good step but it should not end there. There are terrible problems caused in this country everyday as a result of marijuana prohibition. There is a major drug war in Mexico killings thousands of people a year that is half funded through illegal marijuana trade. With all of the lives that are being destroyed and money spent can the government honestly point to the drug war as a success?

Anthony Johnson July 7, 2010 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the great article on this important ballot measure. Initiative 28 will provide patients safe access through nonprofit dispensaries, fund medical research and establish a program to assist low-income and homebound patients. OPB just reported that one state analyst is estimating that the measure will generate the state $20 million in the first year. It was a long, hard slog to collect all of these signatures, but it was such a rewarding experience. A special thanks to all who supported the effort, including, Voter Power, Oregon Green Free, Willamette Valley NORML, Southern Oregon NORML and the Mercy Center. Now the effort is also supported by Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA), Paul Stanford (author and Chief Petitioner of OCTA) and Dr. Rick Bayer (Chief Petitioner of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act). These local activists and organizations are joined by national groups such as NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA). With 59% of Oregon voters supporting the measure, this broad coalition is poised to achieve a great victory this November.

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