Yesterday I posted a call to action to contact your Oregon Representatives and Senators to urge them to protect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program from changes proposed in Senate Bill 844. I am posting it again today because it's extremely important. I saw the call to action posted on Portland NORML's website, and felt the need to syndicated it to remind people of the importance of what is going on:
The Measure 91 Committee is starting to consider amendments that will severely impact the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. These amendments are being attached to Senate Bill 844. While the amendment contains some beneficial provisions for the OMMA (like allowing dispensaries to remain if schools move in nearby and removing the unscientific "12-inch mature plant" rule), it unnecessarily restricts patient grow sites and places too many barriers upon medical marijuana providers. Some of the more troubling provisions:
- 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 today, and let them know that they should vote "NO" on the Senate Bill "Dash 6″ amendments. The 89 page "Dash-6 Amendment" was sneaked onto Monday's agenda late Friday afternoon, amending a two page bill. There is a special rule that allows legislators to pass an amendment, even if it has nothing to do with the original bill, without holding a public hearing with public testimony. It is imperative that you act now to help protect Oregon's patients and their safe access to medicine.
This Dash-6 Amendement is like using a hatchet to perform delicate surgery. According to the Oregon Health Authority, there are 5,584 patients who are served by grow sites that cover more than two patients and 2,025 of those patients are served by grow sites that cover more than four patients. Under the Dash-6 Amendement, a grow site in a residential zone could serve only two patients and one outside of a residential zone could serve only four patients.
Dash-6 Amendements guarantee that thousands of patients will be forced to purchase marijuana at dispensaries. Moratoriums and bans in many localities guarantees hundreds of those patients will be forced back onto the black market to purchase their medicine. And with over 56 percent of Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders on SNAP, OHP, and SSI, these are the most vulnerable marijuana consumers least able to make those adjustments.
Furthermore, the Dash-6 Amendements require record keeping requirements far more onerous than required of producers of any other agricultural commodity. The seven-year records retention requirement is on par with Oregon requirements for in-home care agencies, kidney dialysis facilities, mental health providers, and midwives. Nursing homes are only required to keep records for five years and pharmacists dispensing drugs far more dangerous than marijuana only have to keep their records for three years.
IMPORTANT ACTION #1: Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state: "Please vote 'NO' on the Senate Bill 844 Dash-6 Amendment because thousands of sick and disabled patients will lose safe access to medicine, hurting their quality of life. Limiting patient gardens and placing unnecessary rules, inspections, fees and reporting requirements on growers will force many out of the medical system and potentially into the black market."
IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls on Monday, April 27, before 4pm and state what you emailed: "Please vote 'NO' on the Senate Bill 844 Dash-6 Amendment because thousands of sick and disabled patients will lose safe access to medicine, hurting their quality of life. Limiting patient gardens and placing unnecessary rules, inspections, fees and reporting requirements on growers will force many out of the medical system and potentially into the black market."
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