By Alex Rogers
After learning about an amendment that includes harmful limits on patient gardens, to go along with intrusive home-inspections and burdensome record-keeping, the Oregon cannabis community made their voices heard, bombarding the Measure 91 Implementation Committee with phone calls and emails. These phone calls and emails have been working!
While we haven't convinced legislators to strip out all of the bad provisions (yet), there have been a few positive changes, demonstrating that the politicians in Salem are hearing from patients and their advocates loud and clear. Thanks to us, patients who only grow for themselves won't be subject to home inspections and medical marijuana growers will have to keep records for 2 years, instead of 7, 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 this week, but they didn't, thanks to concerned citizens contacting the Measure 91 Committee members. In fact, these harmful provisions WOULD have passed already, but we made our voices heard and forced a few positive changes already. 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. We need to make legislators know that it is unacceptable for any patient to lose his or her garden. Sick and disabled patients don't have the money to pay for industry lobbyists that are calling this a "good bill" and pushing for its passage. We have to make our voices heard on behalf of those that are often trampled in politics by money and special interests.
Please send emails to the Measure 91 Committee immediately and then follow up with phone calls on Thursday, Friday, (you can even leave messages over the weekend if you want, and on Monday by 4pm. Simply urge legislators to improve Senate Bill 844, so that the most vulnerable patients won't be hurt by this bill.
IMPORTANT ACTION #1: Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state a specific change, please choose something below or create something similar:
"I am opposed to limits on patient gardens. Please push back these harmful provisions until July 1, 2017. Additionally, there is no need for inspections of any medical marijuana gardens or for Oregon Health Authority officials to contact law enforcement. Oregon voters have determined that treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, we don't need to cause any more unnecessary arrests for marijuana."
"While it isn't your intent, limiting patient gardens will cause some patients to lose their supply of medicine. While I would prefer that you don't limit patient gardens, if that is inevitable, please delay the implementation of these limits. The prohibition on growing more than 96 plants can wait until July 1, 2017. Please let the Measure 91 system get implemented before making major changes to the medical program."
"Allowing the OHA to call the police for potentially routine violations during inspections could deter many good growers from providing for patients. Please remove the inspection of all medical gardens and the ability of OHA to notify law enforcement. Also, the reduction on patient gardens will inevitably hurt some patients and reduce the ability of good growers of providing for patients that have lost their grower. Please don't lower patient gardens to under 4 in residential areas and 16 in non-residential. These limits of just 24 and 96 plants shouldn't go into effect until after the 2017 legislative session, so we can have time to see the Measure 91 recreational market implemented at first."
IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls Friday and then it is imperative that you call on Monday again (starting in the morning until 4pm) and simply state what you emailed or you can choose a different policy change request.
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