Hearing Set for Bill To Overhaul Marijuana Law 
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Hearing Set for Bill To Overhaul Marijuana Law 
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2011 at 12:45:43 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 
Oregon -- State lawmakers will hear from the public Thursday about a proposal by former state troopers to make it harder for people to qualify for a medical marijuana card and tighten controls on the people growing it.The bill's proponents say they want to combat abuse of the program without hindering access to medical marijuana for people with a legitimate medical need.
But the bill faces opposition from medical marijuana advocates who say there's no public outcry over the current system. The Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws plans to transport people from Portland to Salem to voice opposition to the bill.The measure raises the standard for doctors to authorize medical marijuana cards for patients, and it imposes tougher restrictions on authorizing the drug for minors. It also would open the entire registry of medical marijuana growers to police four times a year, regardless of whether they are investigating a crime.Opponents say they believe it sets such a high bar for doctors that they would not be able to issue any medical marijuana cards to patients."We're trying to bring a little bit of control to the medical marijuana act," Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, a retired state police lieutenant, lead sponsor of the bill, and co-chairman of the Rules Committee, said Wednesday.The bill is aimed at preserving medical marijuana access for patients with legitimate need while cracking down on the patients, growers and caregivers who are abusing the intent of voters when they approved the law, he said.More than 38,000 Oregonians hold medical marijuana patient cards, 1 percent of the population. More than 24,000 are registered growers.Patients have to grow their own marijuana or get it from an authorized grower, who cannot charge beyond expenses. Cardholders are limited to six mature plants and 1 1/2 pounds of processed cannabis at one time. Voters turned down a measure last year that would have allowed cardholders to buy marijuana from dispensaries.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: May 19, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives
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