State Likely To Siphon Medical Pot Fees 

  State Likely To Siphon Medical Pot Fees 

Posted by CN Staff on May 31, 2005 at 13:02:56 PT
By Michelle Cole, The Oregonian 
Source: Oregonian 

Salem, Oregon -- Lawmakers scrounging to balance the state Department of Human Services' current budget have found a pot of money in the Oregon marijuana program. Nobody expected that the program -- or its reserve account -- would grow so fast when it started six years ago. Today there are more than 10,400 patients registered with the program, and the fees they paid have produced a $1.1-million surplus.
Last week the House voted, 49-10, to use $900,000 of that money to pay for other Human Services' needs. The budget measure, House Bill 5077, also moves money from other surplus accounts, including a $3.2-million surplus in an HIV drug program. The bill goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass. Human Services was faced with a difficult choice: cut services or tap these surplus accounts, Barry Kast, the agency's assistant director for health services, said Friday. "The department, after three years of cuts and cuts and cuts, has run out of options," he said. In a $9.3-billion agency budget, $900,000 amounts to little more than a footnote. But it means a lot to the supporters of the marijuana program, who say their money should be used to make the program work better. For example, the state's Office of Medical Marijuana has talked with law-enforcement agencies about establishing an around-the-clock system allowing police to verify that a person is registered in the program. Currently, verification can be done only on weekdays during business hours. Longer-term, marijuana program supporters worry that the $900,000 transfer would lead to higher costs for many people who are struggling to get by. Snipped:Complete Article: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)Author: Michelle Cole, The Oregonian Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2005Copyright: 2005 The OregonianContact: letters news.oregonian.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 01, 2005 at 05:40:40 PT
Taylor, Comment 11
Seems to me the "Rule of Law" means nothing to the U.S. government unless they are using it to go after someone.I get it..."they" are immune to the "Rule of Law". It's only for keeping the "peasants" in line.
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Comment #11 posted by Taylor121 on May 31, 2005 at 20:34:36 PT

Americans for Safe Access Appeal HHS Evasion
Agency Declines to Deny Marijuana has Medical Value, But Will Not Correct Statements Washington DC – A medical marijuana advocacy group filed an appeal with the Department of Health and Human Services after the agency declined their request to either correct or deny their petition seeking to dismiss government assertions that marijuana is dangerous and medically useless. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a coalition of patients and doctors wanting easier access to marijuana for research and medical use, filed a petition under the Data Quality Act, a little-known but powerful law that gives people the right to challenge scientific information disseminated by federal agencies. The original petition calls for HHS to correct "scientifically flawed statements" about marijuana published in the Federal Register, saying they contradict findings of the Institute of Medicine and other authoritative sources. In a letter dated April 20, 2005, RADM Arthur L. Lawrence, Assistant Surgeon General, informed ASA that they would not be acting on ASA's information quality petition, but would instead consider the information presented thereby in connection to a petition to reschedule marijuana, which has been pending since 2002.ASA's appeal states that the Data Quality Act and the HHS Guidelines require prompt consideration of a request for correction of information, especially where vital health and medical information is at issue. The appeal states that HHS is evading federal law "by lumping a request for correction of information under the Data Quality Act together with a distinct, farther-reaching and much slower process." While the HHS Guidelines provide that the agency may use existing procedures to respond to information quality complaints that arise in “rule-making and other formal agency actions [that] already provide well established procedural safeguards that allow affected persons to raise information quality issues on a timely basis,” no such procedures exist for a marijuana rescheduling petition. That process is slow. One such petition was pending for more than twenty-two years.Such a move would allow -- though not compel – either the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Food and Drug Administration to remove it to a lower "Schedule", and allow it to be prescribed for specified conditions and more easily obtained for research. The petition challenges the government contention that "there have been no studies that have scientifically assessed the efficacy of marijuana for any medical condition." In fact, the group notes, a 1999 Institute of Medicine report concluded that studies have found marijuana helpful "for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation." 
# # # #
A national coalition of 10,000 patients, doctors and advocates, Americans for Safe Access is the largest organization working solely on medical marijuana. For more information, see
The appeal filed today may be viewed at
The full text of ASA's Data Quality Act petition may be viewed at
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 31, 2005 at 18:42:17 PT

Off Topic: Important List of Recalled Drugs
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on May 31, 2005 at 18:33:06 PT

I still don't understand...
Why are people having to pay a government force to use cannabis to begin with?We've already been given the plant by Our Father.People don't have to pay the gov. to use class a narcotics...The rates should be reduced to: FREE.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 31, 2005 at 18:17:18 PT

So right,Mayan.
"Why steal money from programs funded by the sick and dying?"Lawmakers, while they are finding themselves dependent on the funds in the Medical Marijuana progam, have to be wondering, "What if we could re-legalize and tax it? People are using it anyway."It can still have the same "message" for children that tobacco and alcohol have. What sort of "message" is it to say "Right now, you know we're basicly lying to you any way we can about what the real dangers of the stuff are, but if you touch it, we will do our best to disgrace you, subject you to any indignity we can think up...insults, prison, rape, confiscate everything 
from you we possilby can, humiliation of various sorts and we will do our best to destroy you and any future you might have! And that goes for your Mom and Dad and your uncle Joe, too! And oh's to protect you." 
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on May 31, 2005 at 17:38:50 PT

Out of Options
Human Services was faced with a difficult choice: cut services or tap these surplus accounts, Barry Kast, the agency's assistant director for health services, said Friday. "The department, after three years of cuts and cuts and cuts, has run out of options," he said.The re-legalization of cannabis is the only option. Why steal money from programs funded by the sick and dying?Cash-strapped states should be able to re-legalize cannabis but are instead forced to comply with insane,illegal federal laws. To hell with the federal government's bribery,intimidation and coercion. This country is facing a fiscal nightmare and regulating and taxing cannabis could get us out of this hole in a hurry. As kap'n pointed out long ago, the feds have run out of carrots to hold in front of the states and the states are getting hungry. These states will do what they must to maintain their existence.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Halftime Report On Jimmy Walter 9/11 Eurotour: Tour: Re-Open 9/11 Investigations Campaign: CitizensWatch Joins Alliance Seeking Inquiry into Possible High Crimes: Blower Says U.S. Officials Aided WTC Hijackers To Remain In Country Illegally Prior To 9/11: free speech by the bullhorn, they face arrest: Poll:
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Comment #6 posted by runderwo on May 31, 2005 at 17:34:49 PT

I agree with posts #1 and #2, but also with #3. This gives medical users the opportunity to legitimize themselves with the public so they need not fear persecution anywhere they go, and also serves as a desensitizer towards the general goal of legalization - people will see that reefer doesn't really make you crazy, etc. But caution needs to be exercised so that we avoid useless taxes. We can't let the government charge arbitrary amounts for the "privilege" of using cannabis, because it should be a natural right of a citizen living in a free society. If we allow the government to charge us for using cannabis, it sets a precedent for all other kinds of lifestyle fines.I think an extra sales tax on commercial preparations is appropriate, akin to the alcohol tax. (In fact, they could be combined into a "recreational intoxicant" tax.) I also think commercial advertising should be banned or tightly regulated for all intoxicating substances. No payment should be required for the privilege to grow and consume your own plants, just as there is none for homebrewing alcohol. Why not mirror a successful system, instead of constructing a Rube Goldberg system from scratch as kaptinemo put it?
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on May 31, 2005 at 16:01:49 PT

uh huh
This is a prime example of what we have said all along about taxing and regulating the sale of Re-Legalized Cannabis. Forty-nine other states should take heed of this example, legalize Cannabis, and balance your budget WITHOUT Federal dollars for the drug war. Refuse the Federal dollar and make more than you ever would fighting a Drug (Cannabis) War.Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition) 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 31, 2005 at 15:52:35 PT

Stop The Foolishness!
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Comment #3 posted by charmed quark on May 31, 2005 at 15:20:28 PT

Shame on them
Balancing their budget on the backs of sick people. So the regestration fees are about 90% too high. They should reduce the fee.If they want to make money on cannabis, they should legalize recreational use and tax that. I bet they could make a pretty penny. Not only would they get tax money, they would save a ton of money on policing and jail.-CQ
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 31, 2005 at 14:34:40 PT

Yes, the government bureaucrats are robbers.  Fire them all! This is why I advocate voting Libertarian. However, in this country, in this time, this is major progress for us. Why? Because now, we're vested. We're on the right side of the status quo. We've got friends in high places! Because these parasitic bureaucrats will now fight to preserve the medical marijuana program - and I think they'll fight pretty hard for $900K in free money.Remember, the government is no different from La Cosa Nostra. Once you pay your tribute money, you're protected. If you think this sounds crazy, wake up. The mafia handles illegal drugs, gambling, and prostitution, and the government handles the other rackets. They're both like little chiggers, dug into the skin of the smart, working, productive people, sucking blood as hard as they can.Just look at how most of the porkers bloat up, with big, rolling double chins - just like a tick that's been on your dog for a few days.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on May 31, 2005 at 13:16:25 PT:

Rube Goldberg would be proud
As is every State that is trying to control MMJ is finding out, there are costs to adhering to a TOTALLY UNNECESSARY AND UNWORKABLE REGIMEN. The only thing that these efforts seem to illustrate is exactly how silly it is to treat cannabis as it it were some radioactive substance that has to be shielded by layer upon layer of pointless bureaucracy.Those patients were doing just fine on their own, as far as usage went. (Acquisition, of course, is another matter). Loading layer upon layer and restriction upon restriction onto the simple act of medicating is like trying to bolt Sidewinder missiles onto a paper airplane. Totally ridiculous. Sooner or later the public will tire of this and just say "T'Hell with it! Let 'em have their meds!"
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