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Mar-30-2015 10:44printcomments

Oregon Medical Marijuana Patients Rights at Risk with SB936

More growers or fewer patients? What's the strategy?
Image courtesy: 420newswire.marijuana

(SALEM, Ore.) - There is a statewide email campaign underway reaching out to the members of the Measure 91 Implementation Committee, imploring them to vote "NO" on Senate Bill 936. SB 936 is a measure created to make things simpler. It seems that goal was lost from the beginning.

While sensible regulations and oversight of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is an honorable goal, SB 936 simply goes too far, costing too many patients their medicine and putting too much of a burden on medical providers.

For instance, under this Bill, growers may not provide for more than 2 patients in residential areas and cooperative gardens will be prohibited from growing for more than 4 patients anywhere.

It’s as if the marijuana conversation started yesterday, bringing to mind two questions: Where have these people been, and why haven’t they done their homework before sitting down at the decision table?

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is a SUCCESS. We have proven that it is possible to work together and do what’s right for our citizens. And yet, this bill seems to be set on tearing it apart.

Not only has the number of patients under a grower been drastically reduced, but they will be demanded to provide monthly reports to the Oregon Health Authority with detail in the semantics, beyond the expectations of any other farmers in our fair state.

Every aspect of their operation will need to be explained every month: Their plant numbers, production, processing, a list of whom the medical cannabis is provided for and they must keep these records for 7 years or be in violation of the law.

Here are some foreseen consequences of SB 936, should it pass:

  • Reducing patient cards to a maximum of 2 in residential areas and 4 elsewhere will most likely cost over 12,000 patients their grower and their supply of medicine.
  • Many growers will choose to stop growing for patients if these burdensome administrative tasks are made law. Many growers are also patients, making these complicated reports even more difficult to consider.
  • Many patients live in areas without a state-licensed dispensary. Senate Bill 936 forces them into the black market. Just what voters were expecting to eliminate.
  • Over 40% of Oregon’s medical marijuana patients are low income, on some type of government assistance. These patients, battling poverty as well as their severe and debilitating medical condition, will be forced to go without medical cannabis. The sick and dying in Oregon without “enough money” will suffer without relief.
  • Thousands of patients' lives will be harmed. Medical marijuana states have been shown to reduce the number of opiate overdoses and suicides. Senate Bill 936 is literally a matter of life and death for many patients.

Over 56% of voters just passed Measure 91. Maintaining the integrity of the measure, and the “color of the law” as understood by those that voted YES, should be the utmost priority in this discussion.

Oregon voters were directly told that Measure 91 would not impact OMMP.

Unless that was all sheep's clothing, SB936 will not pass. This bill appears to be more harmful than helpful to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. This is not a “recreational” question, it is only about patients and access to their medicine, something that should not be touched. It does not need to be confusing, unless one makes it so.

Sources: Dr. Phil Leveque; Alex Rogers (ICBC)


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Bongstar420 April 13, 2015 4:14 pm (Pacific time)

Or there could be a certified commercial medical licensce with unlimited produciton rights with requirements like specific knowledge and horticulture/agriculture degrees.

Rhea Graham April 4, 2015 12:22 am (Pacific time)

Everyone, please write to the legislators, it really is painless, and they do listen to what you have to say. Some of them are not happy with what is going on. I suggested a Cannabis Commission when I testified last Monday and was delighted to hear the one senator use those same words. Ask them hard questions like how many hops plants, or grapes you can grow. How much beer and wine you can brew at home.

Anonymous March 31, 2015 12:26 pm (Pacific time)

I don't understand why we're always having to defend ommp. Leave us alone.

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