Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Oregon for many years. Measure 67 was passed in 1998 with the voters’ approval. This allowed patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. However, the law was murky in details, especially concerning its growing and selling. Patients had to scrounge the illegal market to get the necessary quantity of the drug for their use. Some of had to resort to growing the weed themselves.
The cannabis facts in Oregon
The medical marijuana law in Oregon is ambiguous and full of loopholes. There are no clear provisions about the licensing requirements for the growers or the sellers. The law says nothing about any regulatory authority or quality standards that the sellers should maintain. Reports indicate that most of the medical marijuana produced in the state is diverted to the underground market to be as recreational drugs, leaving the patients in the lurch.
The new proposed Bill 3460 will put in place a well structured Oregon Medical Marijuana Programme (OMMP) to take care of these issues. There are about 150 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon today. If the Bill is passed, all of these dispensaries will come under this programme to be properly monitored and regulated. This will make sure that the patients in Oregon will not have to seek the drug from the illegal and criminal gangs.
The Bill will require all the dispensaries to register with the OMMP. The licence will be granted to only those who meet the stipulated requirements. The location of the dispensary should not be within 1000 feet of any schools or other institutions and must within an agricultural, industrial or commercial zone. The dispensary will be subject to inspections for quality and would be checked for the presence of harmful pesticides and herbicides.
The dispensaries should be strict in making sure that only the patients with the medical marijuana card and the doctor’s prescription slip can get the drug. The employees of these dispensaries will go through background checks to make sure that people with criminal background does not get access to the drug. These provisions will also help to stem the flow of medical marijuana to the black market.
The new law recognises the cannabis facts in the state and gives more teeth to the existing marijuana laws. Now it is up to the representatives and the senators to pass the bill and make it a law.