Panel Backs Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana
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Panel Backs Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2010 at 05:18:28 PT
By Peter Wong, Statesman Journal
Source: Statesman Journal
Oregon -- Members of a citizen review panel meeting all week in Salem narrowly favored a ballot measure Friday that would allow dispensaries for medical marijuana. The vote by citizens chosen at random and balanced to reflect Oregon's electorate was 13-11 in support of Measure 74.Oregon voters officially will decide the measure's fate Nov. 2. The review was sponsored by the nonpartisan organization Healthy Democracy Oregon and was conducted at Salem Conference Center.
"The fact that it came down so evenly shows what a difficult measure it is," said Melissa Norgren of Portland, who read aloud the consensus statement of key findings on the Capitol steps. "It is not something that people should make a snap decision about."Measure 74 would allow the state to license dispensaries for distribution of medical marijuana. It would differ from the law in California, which leaves licensing to local governments.Although they ended up on different sides, Tim Miller of Salem and Megan Bailey of Clackamas said it was a close call for each of them."I was on the fence right up until the end," said Miller, a social researcher who has worked for Oregon Health Action Campaign. "I had some reservations, but I figured that in the end, it was much better to vote yes than to vote no. I want to take marijuana out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of a legitimate distribution system."For compassionate reasons, I know one woman with lupus and two with multiple sclerosis who are really suffering and have serious problems getting their medicine. This is going to help them."Miller also said the program would support itself through fees.Bailey said she agreed with many of the statements by proponents."But there were some things that made me change my mind about it," she said. "I definitely changed my mind several times during this whole process, but I felt I had to come down where I did."Opponents said the measure should have specified more details, instead of leaving them to administrative rules to be written afterward.All but one panelist agreed with a key finding that the measure's language "lacks clarity on regulation, operation and enforcement."Statements from both sides, plus a list of key findings, will be published in the state voters pamphlet that is distributed to every household before an election.Bailey said she had no quarrel with the process of how the panelists evaluated the measure."I think they have the process down pat pretty well," she said.Despite their differences on the measure, Miller added, "there is hope we can work together to find common ground."A different panel last week voted 21-3 against Measure 73, which would increase to 25 years prison sentences for repeat felony sex offenders and set minimum terms for repeat drunken drivers.Results of both reviews will be evaluated under a grant by the National Science Foundation. Sponsors hope to institute similar citizen reviews of selected ballot initiatives as a permanent feature in future election cycles.Source: Statesman Journal (OR)Author: Peter Wong, Statesman Journal Published: August 21, 2010Copyright: 2010 Statesman JournalContact: letters statesmanjournal.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 21, 2010 at 19:40:42 PT
Panel Endorses Pot Issue on Ballot
By David Steves, The Register-Guard Saturday, August 21, 2010Salem, OR -- A panel of 24 Oregon voters on Friday wrapped up a week of reviewing the medical marijuana initiative by narrowly endorsing the measure.The Citizens’ Initiative Review panel on Measure 74 voted 13-11 in support of the proposal on the November ballot that would create a state-regulated network of medical marijuana dispensaries.An earlier panel working under the same framework last week came out with a much more unified vote — 21-3 — in opposition to ballot Measure 73, which would set mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drunken-driving and sex-crime convictions.The two Citizens’ Initiative Review panels were created by the nonpartisan Healthy Democracy Oregon. The 2009 Legislature passed a law allowing their findings to go into the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet, which reaches every voting household in the state.Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by rancher on August 21, 2010 at 13:55:25 PT:
Measure 74 is crucial
M 74 is important far beyond Oregon. It will create the best model for dispensing medical marijuana. It balances patients rights to grow their own with the benefits of a regulated commercial system that can make quality controlled dosage labelled medicines available to those that can't grow their own.M74 is the only law that licenses marijuana farmers independently of dispensaries or patients. A farmer doesn't have to join a coop or be a caregiver for a patient. They can just be a farmer.Check out the webiste and help this measure WIN.
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