April 8, 2012

What Would Oregon Be Like Without The OMMP?

April 8, 2012
oregon medical marijuana cannabis oregonian newspaper

oregon state marijuanaIf You Love The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Then Defeating Dwight Holton Is Paramount

In my opinion, Oregon has the best medical marijuana program in the nation. People can feel free to disagree with me, and I’m sure they will, but hear me out first. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) is the second oldest medical marijuana program in the nation only behind California. As a registered patient, I can possess up to 24 ounces of usable cannabis and grow 24 plants – 6 mature and 18 immature. California has an argument that they have higher limits, but there are also numerous counter arguments that have significantly lower limits. In Oregon, the limits are clear, and they are substantially higher than any other state that has a well defined limit.

As of 4/1/12, there are 55,807 registered patients in the OMMP. For a state that has less than 4 million people, that’s a considerable amount of medical marijuana patients per capita. Oregon does not have dispensaries, but we do band together to increase access to patients that need it most. Our program is not perfect, but it is ‘less imperfect’ than other states around the country that have medical marijuana programs. Plus, with such high possession and growing limits combined with our climate, there is almost enough medicine to go around. But then again, is there ever enough medical cannabis?

I know there are a lot of TWB readers from Oregon. If you are reading this, chances are you are either a card holder, or you are related to someone that is, or you are very close friends with a patient. There are 28,214 registered caretakers in addition to the patients enrolled in the OMMP, and as the program continues to expand in size, the chances of an Oregonian being somehow involved in the OMMP formally and informally will also increase. It truly is a great program. Oregon voters created the OMMP, because Oregon voters believe in giving patients the right to choose a cheaper, safer alternative to prescription meds. Despite our hippie stereotypes, Oregon actually has some logic in their public policy!

For the most part, the Oregon Attorney Generals that have overseen the Oregon Department of Justice during the ‘OMMP years’ have respected the will of the Oregon voters by taking a hands off approach to medical marijuana. In the 2008 election, I actually submitted a question that was asked to then Oregon AG candidates John Kroger and Greg Macpherson on a radio talk show. It was an odd race because they were both Democrats; the Oregon GOP didn’t field a single candidate. Oregon is considered to be pretty liberal I hear, from those of you that call it ‘Oreegone.’ My question was ‘as an Oregon medical marijuana patient, I want to know how both candidates would handle federal intervention. Would they let the federal government treat us like a police state, or would they respect the will of the Oregon voters and stand up to the feds.’

The answers were quite different. Greg Macpherson answered first and basically said that he admittedly didn’t know much about the OMMP, and pointed out that the federal government has the right to step in and override Oregon. John Kroger then said basically that the OMMP was approved by voters, and clearly Oregon wants it to be protected, and he would step up. Needless to say, Mr. Kroger received my vote in 2008. Things didn’t pan out all of the way, in that John Kroger was no where to be found when the feds where raiding the medical marijuana gardens in Southern Oregon. But at least he didn’t pro-actively try to harm the OMMP.

Oregon voters are presented with a similar situation in 2012 as they were in 2008, with two Democratic candidates vying for the Oregon Attorney General position and no GOP candidate. That means that this race is not going to be decided in November. It will be decided in the Democratic primary on May 15th. I have talked to countless OMMP supporters that either didn’t hear about this race, or thought the race is in November. I guess they thought Dwight Holton would be running as his true self, a Republican, but they underestimate the craftiness of his campaign tactics.

For anyone that thinks Dwight Holton is not a ‘Republican in Democrat’s clothing’ just listen to the audio of Dwight Holton found at this link. He admits that he wants to align with Republicans, which is because he IS a Republican. Not that there’s anything wrong with that in general, but there is something wrong with that if you are only using it for personal gain. Just an another example of Dwight Holton doing whatever it takes to further his political career…

If anyone reading this still needs to be convinced that Dwight Holton is out to get you, here are some undeniable facts. Dwight Holton sent letters to cannabis clubs and their landlords trying to intimidate people into closing off safe access to countless Oregon medical marijuana patients. One of my best friends who was running a club at the time showed me his letter, which was very scary just to hold, let alone read.

As I eluded to earlier, current Oregon Attorney General John Kroger sat by while the feds raided LEGAL medical marijuana gardens in Southern Oregon. Holton led the very DEA effort to attack and destroy medicine being grown for medical marijuana patients in Southern Oregon that I was referring to! DEA agents swooped in, destroyed the plants and took property to be seized under federal forfeiture laws. Numerous medical marijuana patients were out of their medicine, all because of Dwight Holton‘s refusal to respect Oregon laws. Is that they guy you want running Oregon’s justice system?

I’m sure some of you read the title of this article and thought it was a bit overblown. I will ask these same people, what do you think will happen if Dwight Holton is elected Oregon’s next Attorney General? Do you think that he’s going to all of a sudden have a change of heart? Do you think he’s going to all of a sudden respect the will of Oregon voters, knowing that he is just using this position as a stepping stone for something at the federal level, which is where his loyalties really are?

If you have any survival instinct at all and you are involved in the OMMP, you will vote for Dwight Holton‘s opponent, Ellen Rosenblum. In order to do so, you have to register as a Democrat in order to vote in the primary May 15th. I have NEVER, in all of my life registered to any political party, which was extremely difficult to do during the primaries of 2008, when Oregon was relevant for like half a day. I am willing to go against just about everything inside my soul that is telling me to never register, and I WILL be registering as a Democrat before the April 24th deadline, and I WILL be voting for Ellen Rosenblum.

I want to be a part of the winning side that tells Dwight Holton that we won’t let East Coast dollars buy Oregon elections, and that we will never support a candidate that tramples on the will of Oregon Voters. If you love the OMMP, you will do everything you can between now and April 24th to get non-Dems registered as Dems. Don’t worry, you can change back to ‘non-affiliated’ as soon as the primary is over :) Also, from now until May 15th, you need to get as many votes for Ellen Rosenblum as possible. If you can get donations, even better, but at the end of the day what we really need is awareness and votes. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t get on board when I explain to them what is really going on.

Of course, if you are sitting on a pile of money, that would be GREAT. But if you think giving up your pocket change is more effective than telling every human you know via every means of communication possible, then you are really missing an opportunity. I really hope that the OMMP community realizes the ramifications of this race, and that they step up. Otherwise, there will be a very, very sad next four years, and if the OMMP stays intact I would be very surprised. If Dwight Holton wins, I will be forced to move. TWB moving to another state other than Oregon?? I sure as hell hope not.


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