By Alex Rogers
Monday, May 4th, is likely the last chance to protect Oregon Medical Marijuana patients by letting the Oregon Legislature's Implementing Measure 91 Committee know that limiting patient grow sites will end up hurting the sickest and poorest patients. Please contact legislators and urge them to vote "NO" on Senate Bill 844. IF legislators are adamant about limiting patient garden sites at an address, then they shouldn't impose limits until July 1, 2017.
By delaying the deadline for patient regarding reductions, the state and the medical cannabis community will have more time to analyze the impact of the recreational marijuana market has and implement any necessary legislation, including potentially legislation that will restore patient garden rights.
Thanks to advocates, several positive changes to Senate Bill 844 have already been made: patients who only grow for themselves won't be subject to home inspections; medical marijuana growers will have to keep records for 2 years, instead of 7; positive changes to immature plant definition; beneficial possession limits; cities and counties being unable to tax or ban medical marijuana dispensaries. But we aren't done improving this bill as bad provisions still remain:
- Starting on March 1, 2016, grow sites in residential areas will only be able to grow for 2 patients maximum (12 plants); non-residential locations will only be able to grow for 8 total (48 plants).
- Growers will be subjected to a fee and inspections (even if growing in their home for just one other person, like their spouse)
- Any violation of the rules allows OHA to contact law enforcement.
The harmful provisions could have passed last week, but they didn't, thanks to patients and advocates making their voices heard. In fact, these harmful provisions WOULD have passed already, but we contacted legislators en masse. But we aren't done yet, and need to do all that we can to improve this bill, as it is scheduled for another vote on Monday, May 4th.
CALL TO ACTION #1: Email Oregon legislators immediately. Make sure emails are received by noon, Monday, May 4th:
"Please vote NO on Senate Bill 844. I am concerned about decreasing the number of patient gardens allowed. Reducing plant numbers will cost some patients their supply of medicine. Unfortunately, the sickest and poorest patients will be hurt the most. Additionally, extra fees, intrusive inspections and notifying law enforcement for minor violations are not warranted and will likely force many good growers out of the medical system. If passage is inevitable, then push back the operative date until July 1, 2017. Pushing back the operative date will give the state more time to help protect the most vulnerable patients from losing their medicine."
"Please vote NO on Senate Bill 844. As written, SB 844 has plant limits that will hurt sick and disabled patients. If the bill must pass, please move the operative date back to July 1, 2017. This simple change will improve the lives of many patients and allow us to adjust and make the necessary changes to best ensure that patients don't lose their supply of medicine."
Call to Action #2: Make calls Monday, May 4th (starting in the morning until 4pm) and simply state what you emailed.
Sen. Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1718
Rep. Peter Buckley: 503-986-1405
Sen. Floyd Prozanski: 503-986-1704
Rep. Ken Helm: 503-986-1434
Sen. Jeff Kruse: 503-986-1701
Sen. Ted Ferrioli: 503-986-1950
Sen. Lee Beyer: 503-986-1706
Rep. Ann Lininger: 503-986-1438
Rep. Carl Wilson: 503-986-1403
Rep. Andy Olson: 503-986-1415
Source: MarijuanaPolitics.Com - syndicated with special permission