Medical Marijuana: Feds Seek Oregon Patient Records in Probe of Growers -- Patients Cry Foul

Oregon medical marijuana patients and their supporters are up in arms after it was revealed that a federal grand jury next door in Yakima, Washington, has issued subpoenas demanding medical records for 17 Oregon patients. The subpoenas were issued in April as part of a federal investigation into a small number of Washington and Oregon marijuana growers.

Subpoenas were served to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, the state office that issues permits to patients and growers, as well as The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, a private Portland clinic where doctors examine patients to see if their conditions can be alleviated by medical marijuana.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/donald-dupay.jpg
Donald DuPay, official 2006 election photo
As part of the same investigation, DEA agents in June raided the home of medical marijuana patient and caregiver Donald DuPay, seizing 135 plants he was growing for other patients. DuPay, who hosts a local cable TV show about marijuana, was not arrested. He is among the 17 people whose records were subpoenaed.

For Oregon patients, the experience has been frightening and disturbing. "It's crazy. It's really scary. If they can get my records, they can get Gov. Kulongoski's, they can get yours," DuPay, a former Portland police officer and 2006 candidate for Multnomah County sheriff, told The Oregonian on Saturday.

For medical marijuana advocates, it looks like a new tactic deployed by the feds in their ongoing effort to thwart state medical marijuana laws. The grand jury subpoenas are the first ever issued for patient records in a marijuana case, "and of course, it is very worrisome," said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "People have an expectation of medical privacy, and I think they have a right to expect medical privacy," Mirken said. "It's one thing to talk about people selling a product that is in fact not legal under federal law. We may think that's stupid. But that's in a whole different realm than obtaining people's medical records."

"This sends a message to the other states and their programs that they're vulnerable to federal interference," said Kris Hermes of Americans for Safe Access. "It doesn't take a brick to hit you over the head to know that the federal government is trying to undermine California's medical marijuana law, given all the raids and threats to landlords. This is one step further that shows the federal government is very serious about going after patients."

Patients and their advocates are fighting the subpoenas. On August 1, attorneys representing the state of Oregon, and the ACLU representing The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, went before Chief US District Court Judge Robert Whaley in Yakima to urge him to throw out the subpoenas.

In that hearing, Assistant US Attorney James Hagery, who is leading the federal investigation, admitted that the subpoenas were too broadly written. He told the judge the grand jury is investigating "four or five" Washington and Oregon growers for using the medical marijuana laws to cover up their marijuana sales, that the 17 patients were people who got medical marijuana from the growers in question, and that the grand jury wants only current addresses and phone numbers, not "medical records" for those patients.

Hagerty did not explain why, if he is investigating alleged non-medical marijuana sales, he needs to look at registered medical marijuana patients.

A ruling on the subpoenas will come soon, the judge said.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Never put your good name on a bad government list!

I recently had the misfortune of reading the new socialist manifesto... my daughters college civics book!

To suggest that gov't... not the people... has the power is, well, patently absurd... the reason gov't has been allowed to swindle so much power is too many people believe the circular arguements of gov't & religion... both are extremely dangerous social narcotics... and we know how powerful man-made drugs can be!

The patently insane idea that gov't & religion just needs more of your money & rights to make the world right is
mental masturbation of the sickest order.

Never put your good name on a bad government list, state or federal, it's the major reason I stayed in Wa... no lists just a Dr. recommendation.

You'd think the vast criminal history of our socialistic, religious society, would be enough to deter such short sighted ideas... why not just turn yourselves in... it's virtually the same thing when dealing with organized criminals!

Obviously I hope nothing bad happens to anyone accused of a victimless crime. Incarceration and asset forfeiture should be reserved for drug war stooges and the Liarticians (Lawyer/Politician) that routinely violate the constitution... that document they have sworn to uphold & protect... all the way to the shredder!

The only list I'm interested in is the list of our criminal opponents, and their assets, which will help pay for their arrests, deportation & renditions!

Welcome to the Holy, Socialist, Society you asked for!

Billy B Blunt
Tacoma, WA

50 years in Oregon for 31 plants

I was late on changing the address of my grow room and am now looking at 50 years in prison for 31 plants in Klamath Falls, Ore. Just 25 miles south in California they are putting in marijuana vending machines. Those that would keep hemp in all its forms illegal is proof of their corruption.

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