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Proposed Oregon Medical Marijuana Policy and Legislation

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Legislators don’t draft statutes, which should be a surprise to no one. (Have you ever tried to read your state or federal statutes?! Just as bad, try reading the Oregon Constitution in order to find an answer to a simple question.)

Drafting statutes is an art and a craft and we should be thankful that our state and federal legislators don’t do the actual drafting, although, it would be nice if they made sure the final statutes themselves made sense, not just listened to and voted on what was “intended.” But we are all human, or most of us are in any event, and there is a limit to how much we can fit into 24 hours.

Anyway, legislative staff members, lobbyists, and sometimes ordinary citizens draft or participate in the drafting of statutes, and it sometimes starts with op ed pieces proposing new legislation, like this:

“Medical marijuana patients need a safe, reliable supply system,” by Leland R. Berger, Oregonian “In My Opinion,” July 11, 2012.

Excerpt: ‘Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act was predicated on the quaint notion that medical cannabis patients would be able to obtain their medicine for free. The original concept was that a person suffering from a debilitating medical condition would either cultivate for himself or find a person to charitably cultivate for him. Legislative amendments in 2005 codified the ability of cardholders to freely share “usable medical marijuana” and allowed patients to reimburse growers “for the costs of supplies and utilities, and no other costs, including labor.” ….

The crime, however, is the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Oregonians may have the opportunity to end this here if an initiative turned in to the secretary of state’s office last week qualifies for the November ballot. But if it does not qualify or if voters reject it, the need for a regulated supply system will continue, requiring a model.

Several proposals are being discussed among medical cannabis advocates and law enforcement opponents. I write to suggest a proposal predicated on the understanding of how things currently work…..’ [Link to full article.]