During her Democratic primary electoral campaign against establishment favorite, Dwight Holton, Judge Ellen Rosenblum became a national favorite of the cannabis law reform community. Dwight Holton, as US Attorney, had led raids against state medical cannabis providers and a fear-mongering campaign that threatened nearly every cannabis organization in Oregon. Mr. Holton called the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) "a train wreck". Judge Rosenblum, on the other hand, signaled her support for the OMMP and stated that minor marijuana possession should not be a major priority of law enforcement.
One of my proudest political activism moments was when Mr. Holton decried the National Cannabis Coalition for helping bring in "national weed money" to his opponent. Judge Rosenblum's victory over Dwight Holton was one of the most joyous nights of my life and one that the Oregon cannabis community certainly won't forget. After handedly defeating Holton in the primary, Judge Rosenblum then cruised to victory in the general election against her Republican opponent.
The cannabis community's support of now-Attorney General Rosenblum has paid dividends as she has expressed her support of House Bill 3460, a measure that will establish licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. The bill currently sits before the Joint Ways & Means Committee after a successful sub-committee vote. The AG's endorsement comes at a crucial time as the legislative session will likely come to an end by July 1st. If the bill can pass the Ways & Means Committee with majorities from both the Senate and House members that comprise the joint committee, the bill will go to a vote on the floor of each chamber.
From The Oregonian:
Rosenblum sent a letter this month to Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, andRep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, urging them to pass HB 3460, legislation that would create a registry of state-licensed medical marijuana retail oulets.
Oregon already is home to a booming medical marijuana retail industry, where the state's estimated 53,000 patients can walk into a club or collective with cash and walk out with cannabis. Those establishments are not regulated or licensed by the state.
"These facilities operate in a climate of uncertain legality and the absence of a clear regulatory structure makes ensuring compliance with the law difficult," she wrote.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's full letter, courtesy of www.seriouslysamuel.com, the blog of Sam Chapman, an Oregon activist that has done a fantastic job this legislative session, including rallying support for HB 3460:
As you know, under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act ("OMMA"), physicians are legally able to recommend medical marijuana to treat their patients. Under current law, because the OMMA does not address medical marijuana facilities, there is no clear way for registered card holders to safely or legally have access to medical marijuana without either growing it themselves or finding someone else to grow it for them.
Over the past several years approximately 150 medical marijuana facilities have opened and continue to operate in Oregon without regulation or licensure. These facilities operate in a climate of uncertain legality, and the absence of a clear regulatory structure makes ensuring compliance with the law difficult. HB 3460 tackles this problem by putting in place a regulatory framework for marijuana facilities, giving the Oregon Health Authority ("OHA") oversight and control over their lawful operation, and thereby ensuring that all persons with a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card will be able to obtain medical marijuana safely, predictably, promptly, and legally.
Under HB 3460, the OHA would establish a medical marijuana facility registration system requiring each facility to submit an application to the OHA demonstrating that the facility meets specific standards of operation. HB 3460 also contains safeguards that will help to ensure marijuana grown legally under the OMMA ends up safely in the hands of registered medical marijuana card holders. The bill provides ample authority for the OHA to draft rules and set fees to successfully implement the law.
I urge you to support HB 3460.
Ellen F Rosenblum
House Bill 3460 is a much-needed step forward for Oregon. It doesn't end cannabis prohibition completely, but it moves Oregon's laws forward as the public and politicians will realize that licensed and regulated commerce in the cannabis industry is not to be feared. The bill will create jobs, save resources and help thousands of patients. Unnecessary raids, like the ones recently plaguing Southern Oregon, can stop as medical marijuana growers will legally be allowed to receive compensation for their labor. Regulating cannabis commerce for all adults will be the next logical step.