Pot Plan a Little Too Far Out

Pot Plan a Little Too Far Out
Posted by CN Staff on March 13, 2009 at 05:28:59 PT
Source: Mail Tribune
Oregon -- From the land of far-out ideas comes one this week from the desk of Josephine County state Rep. Ron Maurer. The way to fix problems with the state's medical marijuana law, says the Grants Pass Republican, is to make growing the marijuana a state operation.That's right: Oregon — a state that can barely keep children in school — would get into the pot-farming business to keep medical marijuana patients stocked with a safe, if spendy, supply. Did we mention far out?
This much is true: The 12-year-old law as it stands comes with complicating and problematic issues for law enforcement. If officers see plants, they have to determine whether the grower has one of Oregon's 21,000 cards issued to those deemed in medical need and whether the number of plants in the garden is acceptable under the law's limits. Not everyone caught growing is legal, of course. But some officers say the connection between cardholders and criminals is overwhelming, that virtually all marijuana arrests they make today can be traced in some way to a person holding a medical marijuana card.The law as it stands puts law-abiding patients in an awkward position as well. They need marijuana, but if they don't grow their own they have no legal way to buy it. If they do buy it illegally, they have no way to know what's really in it.Those issues do point to a need for adjustments to the law, but we're not convinced Maurer and his three co-sponsors have identified the best ones in their legislation, House Bill 3274.A state-run farm would require a new arm of government organized around marijuana production. It would require massive security to keep the crop and workers safe. Patients, many of whom are disabled and already struggling financially, would have to come up with a hefty $98 an ounce to get the drug.Oregon is probably long overdue for a new discussion about the law. But the reality is that Oregon's law will be hard to deal with as long as the federal government continues to treat all marijuana as a controlled substance rather than acknowledging it is also a pain reliever with legitimate uses.If the nation came around, the plant could be grown, processed and sold as other pain relievers are, the way it ought to be.That time hasn't come yet. Neither, in our view, has the time to trade one set of problems for another by putting the state into the growing business.Note: Medical marijuana law needs work, but state-grown weed isn't the answer.Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)Published: March 13, 2009Copyright: 2008 The Mail TribuneContact: letters mailtribune.comWebsite: Article: Bill Would Give State Control of Pot Grown Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 29, 2009 at 18:21:05 PT
Update From The Register-Guard
Efforts To Reform State Medical Marijuana Law are Dead, Says MorrisetteBy David Steves, The Register-Guard Wednesday, April 29, 2009 SALEM — It looks like Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act won’t be reworked by the 2009 Legislature, after all.A Senate panel chaired by Springfield Democrat Bill Morrisette had spent the past few months working on a bill that would have tightened up rules on patients’ caregivers, who are legally allowed to transport medical marijuana to them from growers.Senate Bill 388 also would have further clarified the quantities of marijuana plants — and its concentrated derivative, hashish — that patients can possess.Law enforcement officials, meanwhile, wanted to amend the law to give police the right to inspect confidential records on medical marijuana program participants when they suspect that those illegally growing or dealing pot are using medical marijuana patients for a cover story.Morrisette said the proposal, however well intentioned, created too much friction within what he called “the medical marijuana community.” There was also opposition to the proposed expansion of police powers to oversee the program.So for the 2009 session, Morrisette said Wednesday, he is leaving the bill for dead.“Usually, when you make everyone mad, it’s a good bill,” Morrisette said. “But this was making everyone mad to the point where we decided it wasn’t a good bill.”Copyright: 2009 The Register-Guard
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Comment #1 posted by knightshade on March 13, 2009 at 06:19:03 PT:
a HEFTY 98$ per ounce
give me a break. what a bargain! ill take 16. 
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