Medical Marijuana Fight Looms in Salem
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Medical Marijuana Fight Looms in Salem
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2011 at 05:51:24 PT
By Saul Hubbard, The Register-Guard
Source: Register-Guard
Salem -- Medical marijuana advocacy groups are digging in for a fight. With a flurry of legislation aiming to restrict Oregon’s 13-year-old Medical Marijuana Act up for discussion in House and Senate committees, the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative, a coalition of pro-medical-marijuana interest groups, is making its position very clear. “We will turn out in force for every public hearing of every bill we strongly oppose,” said Robert Wolfe, director of OMPI, which includes Oregon Green Free, Voter Power and Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse.
Groups of OMPI supporters will flock to Salem today to demonstrate outside the Capitol building and testify in the first public hearing of a bill they oppose, House Bill 2982, which would prohibit any Oregonian with a felony drug conviction from possessing a medical marijuana card.“We hope our show of force will convince legislators to enter into a reasonable discussion with us and table some of these bills,” Wolfe said.No fewer than 10 House bills and five Senate bills seeking new restrictions to the state’s medical marijuana law have been proposed since the start of the legislative session. They consist of a hodgepodge of ideas and concepts that range from reducing the amount of marijuana a cardholder can possess to 1 ounce (HB 3093) to altering the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed (SB 777 and HB 3202).Other proposals include setting up cooperatives as the only legal points of distribution of legal medical marijuana (HB 3046), making it a Class A felony for unlawful manufacture of marijuana on public land (SB 327), and prohibiting the operation of a marijuana grow site within 2,500 feet of school or place of worship (HB 2994). Critics Take The Offensive  The welter of bills continues Oregon’s drawn-out battle over medical marijuana. This year, critics are on the offensive, after pro-marijuana groups last year were on the attack, putting on a statewide ballot a measure to create a statewide medical marijuana growing and distribution system. Voters killed the proposal in November.Though the Republican and Democratic representatives sponsoring the new bills have different ideas of what changes would look like, they echo one anothers’ sentiments when discussing why the changes are necessary.“When voters passed this (medical marijuana) initiative in 1998, I believe they had an idea of what medical marijuana should be used for and I believe current usage has gone beyond those boundaries,” said Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg. “Over the past few years, I have seen the number of cardholders mushroom out of control.”Rep. Mike Schauffler, D-Happy Valley, agreed.“I support medical marijuana for people suffering, but it has been wildly abused,” he said. “There are doctors who hand out hundreds of cards to people who don’t need them.”According to statistics compiled by the Ore­gon Medical Marijuana Program, a wing of the Department of Human Services, as of Jan. 1, there were 38,269 patients holding medical marijuana cards in Oregon. An additional 19,971 caregivers have been issued cards to provide medical marijuana to patients. Lane County has 4,194 patients holding cards, the third-most among Oregon counties behind Multnomah County and Jackson County.Laxity of current requirements to become a cardholder is making a mockery of the concept of medical marijuana and angering many legitimate users, some legislators say. “There is a public perception that (medical marijuana) is a gigantic scam,” said Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha.“We need to bring accountability to the program,” said Rep. Bill Garrard, R-Klamath Falls. Some Oppose Big Changes  Not all legislators agree that sweeping changes to medical marijuana laws are necessary, however. Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said he would be willing to consider tweaking and clarifying the laws so as to remove any shades of gray.But he believes that doctors and researchers should have more of a say over who can be eligible to become a cardholder. Lawmakers, Prozanski said, may be driven more by their political circumstances than by expertise in medicine or pain treatment.“We all have certain biases when it comes to mari­juana,” he said. “And there are legislators with personal and built-in biases about recreational marijuana use, and they treat medical uses of marijuana in the same way. They are two different animals.”Pro-medical-marijuana lobbyist Wolfe said his organization believes that the current system works just fine. New restrictions would only push consumers to the black market, he said.“The genie of marijuana is long out of the bottle,” he said. “These bills are a waste of legislators’ time and money.”He added that the fact that Oregonians rejected Measure 74 at the ballot box last year is not a sign that popular opinion has swung against the state’s current medical marijuana laws, as some legislators are claiming.“That was about people not knowing how mari­juana stores would work. It is by no means a mandate to dismantle our (medical marijuana) laws,” he said.Critics of Oregon’s marijuana laws are proposing a raft of changes, including:Senate Bill 0327: Creates crime of unlawful manufacture of marijuana on public land. Punishes by maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, $375,000 fine, or both.SB 646: Expands ability of employer to prohibit use of medical marijuana in workplace.SB 777: Modifies list of debilitating medical conditions for which medical marijuana is available and removes power of Oregon Health Authority to add other debilitating medical conditions to list. Requires registry identification cardholder to provide updated documentation from physician about debilitating medical condition to authority every six months.House Bill 2982: Would deny application for medical marijuana card is applicant ha been convicted of a felony involving controlled substance. Also bans person convicted of felony involving controlled substance from using medical marijuana registry identification card. Further, requires Oregon Health Authority to conduct criminal records check on people who possess medical marijuana card and to revoke cards issued to people convicted of felony involving controlled substance.HB 2994: Bars operation of marijuana grow site within 2,500 feet of school or place of worship.HB 3046: Directs Oregon Health Authority to register marijuana cooperatives to operate marijuana grow sites and sell marijuana to registry identification cardholders. Imposes 10 percent tax on net profit from sale of marijuana by cooperative. Continuously appropriates 50 percent of moneys from tax to authority for purposes of administering Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. As of 2013, eliminates registration of marijuana grow sites not operated by cooperative or at residence of registry identification cardholder or designated primary caregiver.HB 3093: Reduces amount of usable medical marijuana that person may legally possess to one ounce. The limit would apply to all cardholders.Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)Author:   Saul Hubbard, The Register-GuardPublished: February 23, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Register-GuardContact: rgletters guardnet.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on February 24, 2011 at 11:38:44 PT
My Grandpa said it! 
If the truth won't do, then something is wrong! Now about those bills- Senate Bill 0327- No growing on public lands- No problem, it's aimed at the cartels and Joe Citizen can grow in his closet, like I do. SB 646: Expands ability of employer to prohibit use of medical marijuana in workplace. Bad idea! Cannabis should be treated just like any other drug- you come to work impaired, you get sent home, or fired. The presence of THC metabolites does not equal impairment! SB 777: Way BAD! The list of ailments should be expanding, not shrinking! The law-makers are NOT doctors and should keep their noses out of our doctor-patient relationships!House Bill 2982: Would deny application for medical marijuana card is applicant ha been convicted of a felony involving controlled substance. REALLY STUPID! A person "self medicating" for a medical problem, gets busted and they are banned from using the substance that helps? I guess they think if you get busted, your health magically improves to the point of not needing cannabis any more!HB 2994: Bars operation of marijuana grow site within 2,500 feet of school or place of worship. We can't grow a heaven-sent healing herb because the Deity would be offended? In what part of the Bible is that written? I refer everyone to the first page of Genesis! And at 2,501 feet away, growing is suddenly cool? Where did they come up with that number? And where do they get off denying access to an effective medicine based on a person's location. Admittedly, kids are notorious "rippers", but this appears to cover private indoor grows as well as exposed outdoor grows. HB 3046: Simple- medicine should NOT be taxed! HB 3093: Reduces amount of usable medical marijuana that person may legally possess to one ounce. Again, where are their medical licenses? Why politicians are allowed to meddle in our medical affairs is beyond me! And when you harvest that nice plant in your closet, what are you to do with the extra ounce or two? Throw it away? Why don't they just legalize it rather than having the politicians playing doctor! All this wrangling does is waste time and money and cause a lot of frustration! RE-LEGALIZE IT!
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on February 23, 2011 at 09:45:57 PT
There's a whole slug of truth in what you just said.I like the truth, it just feels good!Something about not-the-truth that just wrangles my brain!I can function much better with what is the real stuff!Truthful stuff and thangs!
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Comment #2 posted by Garry Minor on February 23, 2011 at 08:57:53 PT
1600 supposedly precious American citizens, that that our leaders blew half the mideast apart to protect from terrorists, die each and every day from cancer, some of them little children.....Little children!!! The total cost of cancer on the US economy is around 228 billion dollars a year including lost productivity.I wonder what will happen when the public realizes that our government knew in 1974 that cannabinoids destroy tumors, censored the findings and continue to do so. That's over 20 million people that have suffered and died needlessly! And those are just the ones that have died. Think of those that have suffered through chemo and lived such as our Hope. And that's just cancer. Think of all the other diseases and suffering they have neglected because of their ignorance, greed, and ungodliness!And what will the public think when they learn that farming just six to eight percent of our contiguous land in hemp would have satisfied our nations need for oil and gas, but, were force-fed good old petroleum instead to line certain peoples pockets?And what about all those supposed Christians when their eyes are opened and they learn that our government has brainwashed them to believe that the Tree of Life, the most useful plant on the planet, the main ingredient of our Lords Holy Oil, has been demonized to protect the beasts hold over them?The last thing on earth our government wants is for people to know the Truth. This nation is nothing but a facade, whitewash!!! What is a terrorist?
 Someone needs to be held accountable!If you know the Truth, the Truth will set you free!The leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.We're getting there.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on February 23, 2011 at 07:13:58 PT
King of the Weeds!
Never in history has a weed created so much kayos!Never in history has any substance created this much discussion and disharmony?Never in history have there been more lies and misinformation created to deliberately besmirch the reputation of a weed!There is talk of fear even for the seed of the weed!The cousin of the weed is guilty by association? Poor hemp, never hurt nobody! Hemp wants to feed, fuel and cloth the world, how bad is that?A humble little weed has many educated men and women running for cover. Mega-corps fear the power of the weed. They spend billions to trick the fed into a trillion dollar "weed free" American fiasco!A freed weed America is a scary thing to the uber-ambitious, the ignorant and those suffering from the mental disorder we call religion. Religion is a treatable disease. Smoke the weed and meditate for one hour every day and soon you will shed you religious armor for spiritual nudity, more suited for the cosmos.Greed rhymes with weed. Midas was greedy but he did not wish that everything he touched turned into "Skunk-weed". Out here in the Northwest Skunk-weed is gold. Midas would have been confused by the norms of today, in fact Weed was probably legal in his kingdom? Weed in Midas' kingdom was only weed and not worth the price of gold so Midas wished for a gold not a skunk-weed touch.Now, the moral of my Midas story is; You still cannot buy a Big Mack with a gram of weed and that's immoral! 
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