By Alex Rogers
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) had been a great success that has helped thousands upon thousands of patients and generated millions of dollars for the state. As a medical cannabis clinic owner, I have personally seen the medical program improve the lives of thousands of patients.
When the Oregon Measure 91 Implementation Committee put an amendment on the agenda that would decrease the number of patients' gardens and place unnecessary burdens on growers, I helped lead the effort to stop the harmful amendment. Unfortunately, Oregon lawmakers continue to attack the OMMP as they can't seem to be able to leave the program alone despite being bombarded by phone calls and emails from patients and concerned citizens. The Oregonian reports:
Oregon legislators moved Monday toward putting new limits on medical marijuana growers as they shrugged off opposition from some activists who worried that they would lose access to low-cost supplies of the drug.
"We are getting this bill out Wednesday," vowed Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, the committee's co-chair, as she and other members hastened to assure activists that they could still readily get medical marijuana.
If there was ever a time to act up and make your voice heard, it is now. I'm urging patients and advocates to continue to contact lawmakers and stand up for the OMMP. Please send emails and make phone calls before Wednesday's vote. If the legislator doesn't respond, then follow up with another email. And then make a phone call. Too many of these legislators are unaware of the plight of sick and disabled patients, but we need to do our best to educate them and let them know that we care about patients and will continue to do all that we can to protect the OMMP.
CALL TO ACTION:
The Measure 91 Committee heard from hundreds of patients and advocates, but still seem adamant about passing The Dash 6 Amendments to Senate Bill 844. Some of the more troubling provisions of the proposal:
- 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 for personal grows)
- Growers will have to report monthly to the state and keep records up to 7 years.
- Any violation of the rules allows OHA to contact law enforcement.
Please send emails to the Measure 91 Committee immediately and then follow up with phone calls on Tuesday or Wednesday and let them know that they should vote "NO" on the Senate Bill "Dash 6″ amendments.
IMPORTANT ACTION #1: Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state a specific change, please choose something below or create something similar:
"Please don't limit patients grow sites. While some growers and patients will be grandfathered in, good growers won't be able to pick up additional patients and some patients will lose their growers and 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 after the 2017 legislative session and 48 plants after the 2019 session. Please let the Measure 91 system get implemented before making major changes to the medical program."
"Registration fees, monthly reporting and the requirement that growers keep records for 7 years will prove too burdensome for many growers who will stop growing for patients and could decide to turn to the black market."
"While I would rather you vote NO on the Dash 6 Amendments, if it is going to pass, at least change Section 5(9) on page 22 that seems to allow the inspection of all grow sites, including home gardens that aren't selling any marijuana.
"Please make sure that patients are able to be their own grower, regardless of how long they have lived in the state. Section 5(2)(a)(b) on page 20 seems to put into place a 4-year residency requirement for registered growers, even if they are a patient themselves."
"Allowing the OHA to call the police for potentially routine violations during inspections could deter many growers from staying licensed. Please remove the inspection of medical gardens and the ability of OHA to notify law enforcement."
IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls on Tuesday or Wednesday before 4pm and state what you emailed or you can pick 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: Marijuana Politics - syndicated with special permission