In a big victory for Oregon medical cannabis patients and advocates, the Oregon Senate voted to add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). Adding PTSD as a qualifying condition has been a goal for Oregon advocates for several years, only to be derailed by bureaucratic hurdle after bureaucratic hurdle. Advocates decided to bypass the bureaucracy and took the issue straight to legislators and common sense and compassion prevailed! A special thanks to Anthony Taylor of Compassionate Oregon, attorney Leland Berger and Todd Dalotto of CAN! Research, Education and Consulting for their work getting this important measure passed. Everyone who testified in favor of Senate Bill 281 and contacted their senator should be commended as well.
The Oregonian has the scoop, and I want to highlight the position of Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, who helped beat back the Reefer Madness propaganda spouted by opponents:
One of the doctors in the chamber, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, refuted some lawmakers' concerns that approving the bill would lead to those suffering from post-traumatic stress to arrive at work stoned or drive impaired.
If used properly, marijuana and other opiates used to treat pain are fully absorbed by pain receptors, she said.
"As a physician, I want to be able to offer the most services to my patients," she said before voting in support of the bill.
I am proud that NCC helped fund raise a bit for this effort and look forward to helping these activists and this bill in the Oregon House. Hopefully, a majority of Oregon House members will listen to physicians like Sen. Hayward and not be discouraged as Reefer Madness propaganda rears its ugly head. I, for one, am confident that reason and compassion will prevail once again.