Cannabis News NORML - It's Time for a Change!
  Ore. Lawmakers Decide To Increase Pot Card Fees
Posted by CN Staff on June 11, 2011 at 13:50:12 PT
By Jonathan J. Cooper, The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press  

medical Grants Pass, Ore. -- Faced with tough budget decisions, Oregon lawmakers have decided to tap the popular medical marijuana program for an estimated $7 million to fund other health programs and reject a pile of bills that would have made it much tougher for people to get a medical marijuana card.

It's a legislative attitude adjustment that had marijuana advocates crying foul at the idea of doubling the annual fees charged marijuana patients to $200. But they think they it may move Oregon a step closer to their goal of bringing medical marijuana into the mainstream economy where it can be readily available to anyone and taxed.

"It's not good for the patients," said Christine McGarvin, a member of the state Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee. "I do appreciate the politics of it."

With law enforcement from the U.S. attorney's office to local sheriffs and police chiefs decrying medical marijuana as out of control, the Legislature saw more than a dozen bills aimed at reining in one aspect or another of the program that went into effect in 1999. Eventually, a team of three former state troopers came up with a bill that would have made it virtually impossible for doctors to prescribe the drug. The bill was relegated to a quiet death in committee.

Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, a former state police lieutenant, said their bill was dead for the year, but he plans to work on the issue through the summer and fall and bring back a bill next year.

This past week a Ways and Means subcommittee approved doubling the $100 annual fee for medical marijuana patients, and imposing a new $200 fee on growers who are not already patients. The $20 discount for poor people receiving food stamps and state medical coverage will be eliminated, and only available to people on social security. The $7 million raised will go to other programs within the cash-strapped Oregon Health Authority, including clean water, emergency medical care, and school health centers.

If the measure gains full approval as part of the budget, the fee increases go into effect July 1.

Rep. Tim Freeman, R-Freeman, said he wouldn't call the medical marijuana program a cash cow, but acknowledged that the additional revenue is being used to subsidize unrelated services.

Freeman said Gov. John Kitzhaber's recommended budget left a large hole in public health funding. The Oregon Health Authority had already planned to increase fees in the medical marijuana program but decided to hike them even higher to help fill the budget gap.

The fee increases came out of the governor's direction that some health programs that received general fund revenue in the past would have to find fee revenue instead, said Barry Kast, interim director of the Office of Community Health, which includes the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

As of April, nearly 40,000 Oregonians held patient cards at $100 apiece, raising about $4 million a year. Separate legislation would charge patients $10 to replace a lost card.

Medical marijuana advocates decry the idea of a fee increase as an unfair tax on some of Oregon's poorest citizens.

"We managed to escape, I thought, without any changes to the program," said Bob Wolfe, of the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative. "All of a sudden, out of nowhere, we get this stealth tax on the poorest people in Oregon."

But Paul Stanford, who owns a chain of medical marijuana clinics and is gathering signatures for a marijuana legalization initiative for the 2012 ballot, said the budget measure bodes well for eventual legalization of marijuana. He estimated that taxing it could raise $150 million a year.

Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., said Oregon was following in the footsteps of states like Colorado and Vermont, which have been gradually making medical marijuana more accessible and putting it under more state control.

"If we are willing to realize it is legitimate to tax patients to fund social programs, we should be willing to see it is legitimate enough to open it up as an industry."

Jonathan J. Cooper reported from Salem.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Jonathan J. Cooper, The Associated Press
Published: June 11, 2011
Copyright: 2011 The Associated Press

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Comment #21 posted by afterburner on June 15, 2011 at 08:41:31 PT
So Sad
"Morocco, India, Afghanistan--these are NOT good places to smoke. I can tell you from my contacts that the general population is so thoroughly brainwashed by "drug warrior" themes that you are taking your life in your hand. These are not people who respect our cause."

Back in the 1960s and '70s these places were renowned for their incredible cannabis products. My, how 40+ years of lies can brainwash almost anyone.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #20 posted by Hope on June 14, 2011 at 23:13:47 PT
Storm Crow Comment 8
"Whatever you do unto the least of these, my brethren, you do also unto me."

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #19 posted by rchandar on June 14, 2011 at 20:01:38 PT:

FoM
In theory what they were doing was good. To list MJ availability and tolerance in cities around the world "may" be of some help to lonely travelers who want to experience what's local. In practice, there are problems: meaning, what if the post-er is dreadfully wrong about the information he has? They listed cities in Asia, Africa, about anywhere and everywhere you can think of.

Since they've capsized, we should all be aware of the dangers of buying drugs in a foreign country. One common truth, from CC and others: should you be in the bazaar and score, that "dealer" may immediately sell you out to the cops for a percentage.

I don't think it's wise to buy MJ in the Middle East, or China, or places like that. The post-er made some pretty sweeping claims that it's proper if you "know the right people." These are countries without any good record of human rights.

On the plus side, America and Europe are rated. That's good, because we are familiar enough with social policy to decide whether it's right or not. Yet, even in Amsterdam, a low profile is good: there, for example, there are lots of places where it is definitely not a good idea to "light up."

Morocco, India, Afghanistan--these are NOT good places to smoke. I can tell you from my contacts that the general population is so thoroughly brainwashed by "drug warrior" themes that you are taking your life in your hand. These are not people who respect our cause.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 14, 2011 at 05:36:32 PT
rchandar
I never heard of that site. I went and checked it out. It's really negative.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #17 posted by rchandar on June 13, 2011 at 20:49:57 PT:

Webehigh.com
I just wanted to tell you all how disturbing this is. It WAS a site where you could get information from any location worldwide. I was only writing about my great disappointment and disgust with what happened to them.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 13, 2011 at 06:13:36 PT
Veterans Today: Take Care of Johnny Veteran
URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/06/11/medical-marijuana-veterans/

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 13, 2011 at 06:11:32 PT
BGreen and Runruff
Thank you. I will check it out for Stick.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #14 posted by runruff on June 13, 2011 at 04:09:22 PT
Co-Q-10
It is in the tablet that you chew if you buy "Now Sports" brand. Available at Amazon.

Peace

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by BGreen on June 12, 2011 at 21:11:35 PT
D-Ribose
Mrs. Green and I take it daily since I heard about it on Dr. Oz. We use the powder. We noticed the loss of energy when we ran out after the first bottle. We've since made sure we never run out.

It helps our body create ATP, the substance which provides energy to our cells. It's best when combined with Ubiquenol, a form of CoQ-10 that is easier for our body to use.

These two natural substances are better than any heart drug on the market.

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by runruff on June 12, 2011 at 20:56:21 PT
The hemp fields of Russia.
I have read and have discussed this theory with Jack Herer. In fact it was from Jack I first heard about the Hemp fields of Russia.

On night late, I was up in a friend's living room in Eugene Oregon. I was on tour with Jack at the time. He was telling me that Hitler invaded Russia against the advice of his generals because he said they needed the hemp fields of Kapastan [25 million hectors] to win the war. It was so important to Hitler that he risked everything to invade Russia by opening up two fronts.

This is left out of history.

Also that same evening Jack claimed that Napoleon invaded Russia for the same reason. He had lost his fleet of war ships at Trafalgar against the British. He needed the hemp in Russia to rebuild his Navy. I have researched this a lot since he mentioned it. To Me, This seems the historical truth.

Me, I don't believe any of the rubbish printed in the "official" history books. If there are two sides to every story why do they only give me one of them?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by runruff on June 12, 2011 at 20:40:35 PT
FoM
I want you to look into D-Ribose for Stick. D-Ribose sends more oxygen to the heart muscle. Please look into it for him, it will improve his quality of life.

Take one chewable 1500 mg twice a day. It will give him more energy, about 25%.

I have been taking it for about 5 years. I have my mother on it and she has new life. You can order it on Amazon and use it with any other medication.

Peace

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by HempWorld on June 12, 2011 at 19:38:35 PT
OT Thank you FoM, everybody here, I want to share
For the CNews record:

This is the best way to view the Nazi booklet, which is basically about 23 pages of propaganda with nice German rhymes on the virtues of hemp growing for the Vaterland, from 1942-43. I had no idea the growing hemp would be so ... controversial. But in essence, Germany needed to become self reliant because of the wars they would soon start and hemp was the answer, of course. Pretty much at the height of acreacre planted in Germany, around 1937-1939, hemp was made illegal in the US, go figure, meanwhile in 1938 Hitler was Time Magazine "Man of the Year" you can still find the original text of the article at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,760539,00.html

I hope this works, enjoy:

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Comment #9 posted by museman on June 12, 2011 at 12:14:35 PT
# 8
Oregon ain't the only one. Its a national movement amongst cops and lawyers.

The poor and disenfranchised have only 'theoretical' champions. The rich and powerful have entire armies at their disposal.

And the ranks of 'the poor' are growing daily, as well as the ranks of the cops. And the cops seem to think that their 'patriot act' somehow makes their evil acceptable! And the lawyer-elect raise their wages, collect more fees, make more 'administrative rules' that effectively create crimes where there is none, but they call them 'infractions' so they can rape your life savings, and then when their criminal actions are pointed at, they can just say, "Oh, it's not a 'crime' perse, just pay us money."

The allowance and agreement among the people that perpetuates this travesty is one big fat denial of the Truth.

Until the people stop supporting these thugs in their hearts and minds, they will continue to persecute, prosecute, and render moot any complaints we might have as to their illegal, immoral, unethical, and unconstitutional behavior.

Not a fact I wanted to know by the way, I paid for the knowledge dearly. Fortunately not as dearly as some...

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by Storm Crow on June 12, 2011 at 11:48:55 PT
Odd....
There are obviously more CARS in Oregon than medical cannabis patients- Why not raise the fees on cars? Oregon is KNOWN for it's lower DMV fees- they are way lower than California's!

No, this is just ANOTHER thinly veiled bit of discrimination against people who choose to use herbal medicines! A new way to "discourage" MMJ use by those who have little knowledge of the subject!

Oregon is attacking its poorest, weakest and sickest under the guise of balancing its budget! And the most helpless pay the price!

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest." ~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn. ~Bill Federer

We are the sick, the weak and the poor! How are you treating us, Oregon? How will you be judged?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by museman on June 12, 2011 at 11:31:03 PT
disparity
I forgot to add that the 'law-makers' don't even have to put these things on the ballot, My how special they think they are!



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Had Enough on June 12, 2011 at 11:14:40 PT
History…Repeating Itself again…
When will people learn…

************

Woodstock '69 :: Country Joe McDonald's "F-I-S-H Cheer"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4xD8j8ye9k&feature=related

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on June 12, 2011 at 10:59:03 PT
more disparity
”Here's some disparity for you; It takes about 500,000 signatures of the people to get an initiative on the ballot, but a handful of cops and their 'DAs' can do it in a week! Who's foolin' who?”

Not only that…but in Florida... ‘The Sunshine State’... after the signatures are gathered, which 676,811 are required in Florida…and is finally placed on the ballot…It has to get 60% approval by the voters…not the standard 50% or more…go figure…

***

PUFMM - People United for Medical Marijuana - Florida

http://www.pufmm.org/



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on June 12, 2011 at 10:40:06 PT
Slightly OT Check this out!
The German 3rd Reich increased hemp production from 200 Hectare in 1932 to 16,000 Hectare in 1939.

Below is a Youtube film of the handbook promoting the cultivation of hemp in Nazi Germany.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by museman on June 12, 2011 at 10:24:17 PT
from the street
this looks a lot different;

"With law enforcement from the U.S. attorney's office to local sheriffs and police chiefs decrying medical marijuana as out of control,"

What is out of control is all the above. Fact. Inconvenient Truth, and NO ONE is addressing the REAL problem are they? Just pandering to the whims of their 'elected representatives'. The only reason none of these stupid "laws" aren't put into effect in Oregon, is because the 'reps' fear for their jobs, and they know that the 'medical marijuana industry' is a potentially powerful lobby -growing more powerful all the time.

They can certainly justify sticking it to the public for more money -because that is what they do. That's their job; robbing the people. And that's what people voted them in for, whether they realize it or not. Just a bunch of human calculators arguing over how many $$ they can steal before people get pissed. That's contemporary Amerikan Law at its 'finest.'

Time is coming to decide if we want these corrupted versions of what was once a good idea (serving and protecting the interests of the public) to continue inserting their unasked for, unqualified, and uninformed input into our Self Government -which supposedly is the 'spirit' of constitutional law.

Here's some disparity for you; It takes about 500,000 signatures of the people to get an initiative on the ballot, but a handful of cops and their 'DAs' can do it in a week! Who's foolin' who?

A march on Salem is looking more and more like a happening within the next year, if they keep ignoring the people and listening to all the Iraq-trained killers, and liars (lawyers) -the self -elected (by virtue of their bank account and speech writers).

Here's a new bumper sticker for all the new cops in town;

"Go Back to Iraq"

LEGALIZE FREEDOM

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by The GCW on June 11, 2011 at 20:14:50 PT
One to watch
"With a deadline fast approaching it’s very possible on July 11, 2011 the province of Ontario will have no law for possessing or growing marijuana."

http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/node/27365

Oshawa Marijuana Activists Hold Community Forum Friday

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by The GCW on June 11, 2011 at 20:07:09 PT
Extortion
Pay extortion money to government for protection from police for using a God-given plant.

Now pay double.

[ Post Comment ]


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