Josephine County Is The Medical Marijuana Capital Of Oregon
Once every three months the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) updates the statistics pertaining to the OMMP. I look forward to it every quarter, because I am a nerd for stats and all things OMMP. The State of Oregon now has 57,386 registered patients in the OMMP (As of 01/01/2012). Something new to the Oregon Medical Marijuana statistics page is a change in pending applications. Up until this update, the OMMP stat page listed the number of pending applications as well; this update no longer lists pending OMMP applications. The missing info is useful in getting an idea of how many OMMP patients are really in the State of Oregon. After all, an applicant to the OMMP is basically considered 'accepted' during the processing time, which was at over four months the last time I renewed.
Based off of past pending application amounts, I think it's not a stretch to say there are now over 60,000 registered Oregon Medical Marijuana patients. Add to that number 29,504 caretakers and that's approaching 90,000 cards in the State of Oregon between the two. The quarterly statistics don't list the number of growers holding cards, which may or may not be the same as the patient and/or caretaker. For instance I know people registered in the OMMP that are the patient and grower for themselves, and a caretaker for another person. So even if the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program published the number of grower cards, it would be hard to tell what amount of those were just growers only. However, I don't think it's a stretch to say that with the patient, caretaker, and grower cards out there in Oregon, there's approaching 100,000 cards. There's 3,825,657 people in all of Oregon now to put that previous number in perspective.
There are 2,003 doctors in Oregon that have signed Oregon Medical Marijuana Program forms for patients and been approved. 2,035 OMMP patient applications were denied for one reason or another in 2011. The OMMP stat page also breaks down the list of approved conditions and how many patients are legally helped by marijuana for those conditions (*A patient may have more than one diagnosed qualifying medical condition).
Agitation related to Alzheimer's disease
Seizures, including but not limited to epilepsy
Persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those caused by multiple sclerosis
The rest of the OMMP statistics page breaks down the number of patients per county, which is by far my favorite thing to look at in the world. I feel it statistically necessary to put out some disclaimers about the county information. First of all, it only lists registered patients in those counties, which doesn't include counties that have out-of-state Oregon Medical Marijuana Program participants that frequent the county. For example, there are now a large amount of Idaho residents that are benefitting from the fact that you don't have to be an Oregon resident to become a patient in the OMMP (FYI for anyone in a non-medical state that wants to be medical!).
You have no protections outside of the State of Oregon, however you don't need an Oregon ID, and you have all the OMMP protections while you are hanging out or whatever it is you are doing in the State of Oregon. Look at the map below, and you will see that the counties that border Oregon, especially Idaho, probably have more medical marijuana patients in the county than the numbers on the OMMP stat page in all reality:
As I alluded to previously, the numbers in the counties only include patients, not the caretakers and growers that are also out there. I always like to divide the number of patients by the population of the county to see how many OMMP patients there are as a percentage of the population. This is a good way to determine where the most Oregon medical marijuana patients are (and likely their gardens) in the State of Oregon.
There are nine counties in Oregon that have a population of over 100,000 (As of the 2010 census, most current available). They are Clackamas (375,992), Deschutes (157,733), Douglas (107,667), Jackson (203,206), Lane (351,715), Linn (116,672), Marion (351,335), Multnomah (735,334), and Washington (529,710). All of these counties have large numbers of patients in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, as expected.
However, there are five counties with atleast 2% or more of their populations holding Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patient cards, and only two of them were on the list of the top nine metro areas. Douglas County has 2.15943% of their population registered as patients in the OMMP, with Jackson County coming in second overall with 3.54812% of their population registered as patients in the OMMP. 2.7156% of Coos County is are Oregon medical marijuana patients, and 3.38937% of Curry County residents are OMMP patients.
But by FAR the Oregon county with the highest percentage of residents registered as Oregon medical marijuana patients is Josephine County. 5.27123% of Josephine County Oregon's population is a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. For those of you out there that don't like math or aren't good at converting percentages into fractions, that means that roughly 1 out of every 19 man, woman, and/or child in Josephine County in Oregon is a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Obviously children don't have medical marijuana cards in Josephine County, unless they have their parents and doctor's permission...
This is why I am officially declaring Josephine County the medical marijuana capital of Oregon. I have been down there to acquire medical marijuana on many occasions, and I can assure you that it is of the finest quality (Jack the Ripper anyone??). When you look at the top five Oregon counties by marijuana patients per population, you notice a trend - they are all in the Southern part of Oregon.
I think the biggest reasons for that is an influx of sympathetic California doctors, as well as a larger acceptance of medical marijuana in the communities down there. Whenever I went down there, everyone was so much more open minded about marijuana compared to the Northern part of Oregon. The Willamette Valley might be open to just about anything else, but there are a lot of 'square bears' up there that for whatever reason don't like marijuana as much. However, anywhere in Oregon marijuana is still much more accepted compared to almost all other states in the nation, if not all of them.