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Mar-03-2009 23:01printcomments

Activists Say Oregon Medical Marijuana Act is Under Attack

A number of activists will be at the state capitol Wednesday.

OMPP Under Attack
Courtesy: Photos below story: Elvy Musikka, Federal Medical Marijuana Patient, talks to James Pitkin of the Willamette Week, Elvy Musikka testifies against SB 388.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Medical marijuana activists in Oregon are at the state capitol this week opposing SB 388 that would increase police scrutiny of sick people and create more obstacles for those who legally use cannabis for healthcare.

Michael Bachara from The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, says advocates are talking about the Human Services and Rural Health Policy.

Bachara says it is a critical time to push for the rights of sick people who use medical marijuana.

"We need to let our representatives know that we oppose this bill. It would allow law enforcement to inspect our gardens at any time and create even more hoops to jump through and more paperwork that would be a burden not only to the state but also to medical marijuana patients, caregivers and growers throughout the state," said Anna Diaz of Oregon NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws).

Another matter currently at hand is supported by over 1200 Oregon NORML members. That is Senate Bill 388-1, or the "Dash-1" amendment to this bill.

This amendment would allow patients to reimburse a registered cardholder for production costs of medicine, not just their caregiver/grower of record.

The way the law is written now, patients can only reimburse their registered caregiver/grower for supplies and utilities, which makes it difficult to get help from others in the community, according to Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML.

"This change would make it feasible for growers and caregivers to help more patients and make medicine more available to patients who have trouble growing their own," Martinez said.

The “Dash 1” amendment would have a huge effect on access to medicine for the immediate needs of patients recently diagnosed with cancer and facing chemo therapy, who don’t have the luxury of time to wait for medicine, and to the many patients who cannot "grow their own" due to housing or medical disabilities.

Here is the exact language of the proposed amendment:


  1. On page 5 of the printed bill, line 6, delete "the cardholder" and,
  2. insert "a cardholder".
  3. In line 7, delete "the cost of supplies and utilities" and,
  4. insert "time and materials".
  5. In line 8, after "marijuana" insert a period and,
  6. delete the rest of the line and lines 9 and 10.

The meeting at Oregon's capitol was carried over from Monday. On the agenda is a matter involving the allowance of medical marijuana cardholders to possess certain amounts of hashish and food and tincture that incorporate marijuana or hashish.

For those attending, the meeting takes place in HR B at the capitol Wednesday, March 4th at 8:00 a.m.

"Each of us has one small voice, but together we are a giant roar that can shake the hall of the State Capitol!" -NORML.

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OMMP Grower June 5, 2010 11:04 pm (Pacific time)

Lt Dingaman is nothing but a pig on a power trip. He is the shcool cop at my old high school. I watched him pull kids and myself in for bull shit reasons just to try to find ways to fuck us over. In his eyes everyone that has there name on a OMMP card is just a "dope" smoker that belongs in jail. This Law is just one more way to invade our homes and find ways to take our rights awy from us. Watch harvest time comes lets see how meany of us growers go to jail or get fined up the ass and get or cards taken away for having over our limit. Shit one indoor plant can easly be over 24 oz wet let alone one outdoor plant. This bill is just one more way for the long dick of the law to fuck us.

Lacy Ann March 15, 2009 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

The proposal as written is most definitively an invasion of grower and caregiver privacy, safety and freedom. As for the Stormy Ray Foundation, you should stand with and behind NORML instead of creating a split of representational unity. Shame on you! You think you stand for patient rights but your group members are not thinking clearly about the long term consequences of your actions and proposals. Most caregivers and growers have only the best of intentions.

Anthony Taurus March 5, 2009 1:55 am (Pacific time)

"This bill was introduced to stop the abuse within our program and stop dishonest growers from steeling from patients, a common practice under our current law. The dash 1 amemdments would change the ownership of the garden from the patient to the caregiver and allow growers to charge black market priced for medicine that already belongs to the patient." Mr. Wade is right. While I'd prefer to "JUST LEGALIZE IT", truth is the dash-1 amendments sounds very much like black market pricing initiatives. If anything, I'd amend the bill to REMOVE any police authority out of the situation. We know their attitudes and we know they can not be trusted. This is the primary reason, I believe, the bill will get defeated. Come to a compromise in which an independent agency would step in with the help of the police as long as it's NOT the police directly. Think of it like a "child services" agency. They come in, inspect the home situation, make sure everything is up to par. If not, let them decide the next step. Just do NOT put it in the hands of the police. That will be the WORST thing anyone can do. At the end of the day, I say LEGALIZE IT. Take the crime out of it, control its distribution, make money on tax revenues, save on law enforcement expenses.

DrNosePickens March 4, 2009 6:31 pm (Pacific time)

Oregon's getting to be a police state

Michael Bachara March 4, 2009 1:09 pm (Pacific time)

I believe SB 388, as it is written, is an invasion of my privacy and treats medical marijuana patients like criminals. I would personally like to thank Oregon NORML, Voter Power, Oregon Green Free and everyone who showed up in unity to stand up against this poorly written bill. It is not the answer.

English March 4, 2009 10:25 am (Pacific time)

Um, it's "stealing", not"steeling".

Editor: We always try to immediately correct errors that are pointed out to us. I do not however see what you mean in this story and will go over it again, thanks.

Russ Belville March 4, 2009 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Jerry, that characterization is misleading. ORS 475.304(5) clearly states "All usable marijuana, plants, seedlings and seeds associated with the production of marijuana for a registry identification cardholder by a person responsible for a marijuana grow site are the property of the registry identification cardholder and must be provided to the registry identification cardholder upon request." Nothing in SB 388's "Dash-1" modifies or supersedes ORS 475.304(5). What does change is ORS 475.304(7). As it currently reads: "(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." How it will read with the "Dash-1" amendments (changes in CAPS): "(7) A registry identification cardholder or the designated primary caregiver of A CARDHOLDER may reimburse the person responsible for a marijuana grow site for TIME AND MATERIALS associated with the production of marijuana." The way I read (5) and the new (7), it would still mean that PatientA owns medicine grown by GrowerA. (7) says "may reimburse" not "shall reimburse", so no patient is forced to pay his grower anything and at any time the patient could say "give me all my medicine and plants", backed up by the sheriff, and not pay the grower a dime. And if anything is paid, it is labor hours and materials PatientA is buying, not medicine (how can you buy what you already own?) Now, suppose CaregiverB is a friend of PatientA. PatientA has excess medicine, CarevigerB's PatientB has immediate need. PatientA may give medicine to PatientB for no consideration (ORS 475.302(3)). But PatientA has agreed to reimburse GrowerA at $50/ounce for time and materials. Essentially this means that PatientA is out $50 to help PatientB. All "Dash-1" allows is CaregiverB to pay that $50 to GrowerA so PatientA is covered. As to "black market priced medicine", that is a concern I have as well. However, in your testimony this morning you bring up the specter of I-28 and California's dispensaries, again a misleading point. Dispensaries of the California or proposed Oregon I-28 model will require overhead for buildings, employees, taxes, etc., all of which would drive up the price of medicine. "Dash-1" would not institute "24 plant dispensaries" as you testified. Growing marijuana is a time-intensive operation. Reimbursement for lights, soil, tubs, fertilizers, etc. are helpful, but essentially require the grower to volunteer his valuable time. As larger gardens require more time, this restriction creates disincentive to care for more patients. The light bill will remain the same, the supplies costs will increase, but the amount of time the grower puts in will greatly increase. I sympathize with the desire to protect the program from abuse and patients from theft, but criminals will always take advantage of the law (that's what criminals do) no matter what you do to amend it. Meanwhile, what will be the effects of the unamended SB 388 on the vast majority of patients, caregivers, and growers who follow the law? You're creating a definition for hashish that is unnecessary (hashish is already one of the "mixtures and preparations thereof" covered in ORS 475.302(11)) in order to reduce possession of hashish down to 2 ounces. Many patients keep hash because it will store longer and many compress their 24 ounces of dried medicine into hash to avoid tripping the possession limits. You're creating a "four-month supply" limit on edibles and tinctures, which is again unnecessary because of ORS 475.302(11), and brings to Oregon the fun patients had in Washington determining what a "60 day supply" was. The way I see it, if you're limited to 24 ounces of medicine, it's still 24 ounces of medicine whether you baked it into 100 brownies or 1000 brownies. You're limiting growers to storing 24 ounces of medicine regardless of how many patients the grower is supplying (up to four). This creates disincentive to grow for any more than one person, because while four patients would allow a grower to grow 24 mature plants, the minute harvest comes that grower is way out of compliance. You're requiring patients, caregivers, and growers to agree to binding, non-judicial arbitration of any disputes and allowing DHS to conduct random inspections of grow sites based on complaint by the patient. If you want to see the number of caregivers and growers willing to help patients plummet, pass this law and tell them that at any time when their patient may have a grievance, they can call in DHS, who will then interview them, inspect their grow sites (usually their homes), suspend their caregiver/grower card for six months, and forward any findings of criminal activity to law enforcement for prosecution. And in testimony from Lt. Dingaman on Monday, it seems like law enforcement would like even more restrictions, including limiting not just growers to four patients, but caregivers as well. It will be interesting to see my friend, who's a caregiver for 26 patients in hospice care, deciding which four of the 26 he will continue to help. They say when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. For the hammer of law enforcement, the nails are the criminals who use OMMA as a cloak for illicit marijuana dealing. For the hammer of Stormy Ray, the nails are the patients who've been victimized by shady caregivers. But in your zeal to address the tiny few who abuse the system, you are making things worse for the vast majority who obey the rules. Plus there seems to be a lack of sympathy for the growers who are currently volunteering their time and who are the cardholders who face the brunt of the wrath of federal law enforcement and extra scrutiny from state and local law enforcement. My goal is to get the most medicine to the most patients at the lowest cost. Anything that restricts growers and subjects them to inspection is going to reduce the total output of medicine in a system that you already complain is serving the needs of too few patients. Russ Belville Oregon NORML

Eric The Epileptic March 4, 2009 9:31 am (Pacific time)

Dear Jerry W, Thank you for posting this comment. I am from southern California, and wish you would post the info you are talking about. I want to learn the laws I should, not try and run from the pigs. Thanks.

J R March 4, 2009 8:24 am (Pacific time)

The worst part of this whole bill is that Stormy Ray has joined hands with LEO to gain access to one's grow garden at will and at any time. This coming from a patient advocate? What is wrong with her? You need to read Stormy the constitution and inform her to "hang out" with the patients and NOT LEO.

Jerry Wade March 4, 2009 6:35 am (Pacific time)

I am the secretary for the Stormy Ray cardholders' Foundation that sponsored this bill. the information you have been given about this bill and what it does in not accurate. This bill was introduced to stop the abuse within our program and stop dishonest growers from steeling from patients, a common practice under our current law. The dash 1 amemdments would change the ownership of the garden from the patient to the caregiver and allow growers to charge black market priced for medicine that already belongs to the patient. If you have questions please call us at 503-587 7434

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