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Oregon Board of Pharmacy Reschedules Marijuana

On June 16th, 2010, The State of Oregon - Board of Pharmacy has officially rescheduled Marijuana from 'Schedule I Controlled Substances' to 'Schedule II Controlled Substances'.
Portland — The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy acted today to remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule I Controlled Substances,” in accordance with a bill the legislature passed last year. The new law, ORS 475.059 established by Senate Bill 728, requires marijuana’s removal from a list of controlled substances that have a “high abuse potential and no acceptable medical use in the United States.” The Board placed marijuana into “Schedule II Controlled Substances,” which contains substances that have a “high abuse potential with severe psychological or physical dependence liability,” but are accepted for medical use in the US and are available by prescription. The Oregon Controlled Substances Act provides three additional schedules for substances that are progressively less serious or dangerous, Schedules III, IV and V. The Board reviewed scientific and medical literature and heard testimony from experts and members of the public before voting to move marijuana into Schedule II. This action is consistent with Oregon’s assertion that marijuana does have an acceptable medical use.
This is a landmark decision for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy and hopefully will set the precedent for other states to follow suit. In Oregon, how will this change how employers view Medical Marijuana use and people being drug tested and fired because of being a legal OMMP medical user? That issue is yet to follow and I for one, am looking forward to hearing the outcome. Here is the official press release from the Oregon Board of Pharmacy:
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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A neglected news item

Indeed, it isn't even in the Newsletter section and only appears to have been reported in the Speakeasy section because this occurred when Stop The Drug War had Reader Blogs which were part of the Speakeasy section.

Doesn't seem like a "landmark decision for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy" though if the board was required to remove marijuana from Oregon's version of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act Schedule I by an act of the Oregon legislature.

Looks like it was enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor but it amends ORS 475.840 (


<blockquote>475.059 Classification of marijuana.The State Board of Pharmacy shall classify marijuana as a controlled substance in Schedule II, III, IV or V. [2009 c.898 §2]


      Note:475.059 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 475 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.</blockquote>


<blockquote> “Not added to and made a part of.” Notes may indicate that a particular ORS section was not added to and made a part of the ORS chapter or series in which the section appears. These notes mean that the placement of the section was editorial and not by legislative action. Notes also are used when the series references are either too numerous or too complex to bear further adjustment. However, the note does not mean that the section not added to a series or a chapter is any less the law. The note is intended only to remind the user that definitions, penalties and other references to the series should be examined carefully to determine whether they apply to the noted section.

      For example, Oregon Revised Statutes contains chapter 137 relating to judgment, execution, parole and probation. A law relating to any of those subjects may be enacted but not legislatively added to ORS chapter 137, even though the section clearly belongs with the related materials found in that chapter. The Legislative Counsel compiles the section where it logically belongs and provides the “not added to” note.</blockquote>


Now that I think I understand the Note to ORS 475.059, I'm back to, "Doesn't seem like a "landmark decision for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy" though if the board was required to remove marijuana from Oregon's version of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act Schedule I by an act of the Oregon legislature." Seems to me this law takes away far more than it gives anyway. It gives a shiny bauble of little worth as Oregon doctors still can't prescribe marijuana and Oregon pharmacies still can't dispense marijuana, etc. but other provisions in the act create new crimes and penalties not related to marijuana.

 <blockquote>(6)(a) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a person who manufactures or delivers a controlled substance in Schedule IV and who thereby causes death to any person is guilty of a Class C felony.

          (b) For purposes of this subsection, causation is established when the controlled substance plays a substantial role in the death of any person.</blockquote>

I don't know the context for this or for this singling out Schedule IV though my guess is that Schedules I through III already have such a penalty. Regardless, I've seen similarly worded law before and presume this is the same sort of subjective and biased BS. E.g., I dimly recall a case where someone was prosecuted and convicted under such a law because they shared a joint or something with someone at a beach party and that person later got caught in a riptide and drowned. Think it made the newspaper because it was the first conviction under that law or because there was a ruling on its constitutionality. Under that law, if a pharmaceutical manufacturer screwed up and somehow managed to ship out a bad lot of some drug (say 100 times as strong per tablet as it should be) no one at the company would be liable under that law for deaths caused directly by that mistake but a person who illegally loaned a tablet from his/her prescription to a friend who took the same medicine but didn't have a dose with them to take on schedule would be liable because they illegally "delivered" the controlled substance.

Section 3 of the act still has me thinking, "WTF?" Is methamphetamine now in <b>both</b> Schedule I and II of Oregon's UCSA?

 <blockquote>SECTION 3. (1) The State Board of Pharmacy shall classify methamphetamine as a controlled substance in Schedule I.

          (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, methamphetamine, its salts, isomers and salts of its isomers shall be classified as a controlled substance in Schedule II for purposes of currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(2).</blockquote>

Could we have some analysis and follow-up on this now that over a year has passed since the change in Oregon law?


Also, can anyone verify this is the first time a state has adopted a UCSA and rescheduled marijuana to something lower than Schedule I? I seem to recall at least one other state has done so though the state may have later put it back in Schedule I.

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