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Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensary Initiative Makes Ballot

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #641)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown announced last Friday that an initiative campaign to allow state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries had handed in enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. An initiative that would impose mandatory minimum sentences on repeat felony sex offenders and drunk drivers also qualified for the ballot.

marijuana plants (photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia)
The dispensary initiative, I-28, would amend the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act to mandate that the state Department of Human Services license and regulate dispensaries and producers. The dispensaries would be nonprofit and would be allowed to be reimbursed for their production costs. The initiative also contains provisions providing that the department set up a program for low-income patients and that the Department of Human Services conduct research into the efficacy and safety of medical marijuana. Those programs would be funded with fees generated by the medical marijuana program.

Under current Oregon law, patients or caregivers can grow their own, and caregivers can grow for up to four patients. But patient advocates have complained for years that the lack of a dispensary system has meant patients unable or unwilling to grow their own and who do not have a caregiver have had to resort to the black market or go without their medicine.

The initiative isn't officially qualified for the ballot just yet. It will be official on August 1, the deadline for verification of ballot initiatives. While it could theoretically be challenged between now and then, no such challenges have appeared on the horizon.

The initiative will not be known as I-28 on the ballot. It will be assigned a measure number on August 1.

The initiative is sponsored by Voter Power, the same folks who successfully sponsored the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act initiative in 1998.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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