Measure 74 Brings Needed Regulation
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Measure 74 Brings Needed Regulation
Posted by CN Staff on October 17, 2010 at 06:56:37 PT
By Robert Wolfe
Source: Mail Tribune
Oregon -- Virtually all who have evaluated Measure 74 agree that new steps need to be taken to provide safe, reliable access to medical marijuana. One way or another, Oregon will have to regulate the supply of this medicine.If we don't seize this moment to step in and create a regulated production and delivery system, we could soon find the situation with medical marijuana spiraling out of control. Just ask the people of Colorado or Los Angeles  in each case, elected leaders were much too slow to create sensible regulations. Only after chaos reigned did they step in.
For Oregon's 40,000 doctor-approved patients, we think establishing Measure 74's system of dedicated, nonprofit clinics  similar to pharmacies  is the best choice.Do we really expect the legislature to act without Measure 74? After 12 years with the existing medical marijuana law, there has been no serious effort in Salem to create a legitimate supply. That's why Measure 74 is necessary, and why passing it is so important.Measure 74 will improve the quality of life for seriously ill patients who qualify for medical marijuana under existing law. It removes the fear and uncertainty patients face now, and will put a stop to black-market profiteers exploiting patients for financial gain.Measure 74 outlines the basic rules and legal structure to create such a program, while requiring the Oregon Health Authority to write strict rules that will allow the system to function properly. The rulemaking process allows all interested parties to have significant input: law enforcement, doctors, patients, local communities and others.Opening a medical marijuana clinic would be a daunting task, requiring real business acumen and the ability to manage what will certainly be among the most heavily regulated businesses in Oregon.As the first step, proposed clinics can only be operated by nonprofit companies, which are monitored by the Oregon Department of Justice. All the directors of the nonprofit must be Oregon residents, and satisfy residency requirements that will be established by the Oregon Health Authority. Those directors must also pass a criminal background check.Measure 74 imposes substantial additional requirements: proposed clinics must meet zoning laws, install a security system, and open their premises and books to review and inspections. Medical marijuana could be obtained only from licensed growers, and provided only to certified patients. A record must be kept of every transaction, and a 10 percent gross receipts tax must be paid quarterly.All of this is in addition to the standard list of tasks any business must accomplish: licensing, hiring, payroll taxes, lease negotiations and more.The number of clinics needed statewide is hard to calculate in advance. Not all patients will use one. But all patients need reasonable access to reliably obtain their medicine. Measure 74 gives state regulators the ability to authorize or limit the number of clinics as they see fit. That's a big contrast with the systems that sprang up in some other states in the absence of regulation.In drafting Measure 74, we have imposed a degree of regulation of medical marijuana that far exceeds that of any other state. Measure 74 incorporates valuable lessons. Oregon's system under Measure 74 will be a model of safety and regulation for the entire nation.We all feel compassion for seriously ill patients, and we all share common concerns for implementing Measure 74 fairly and effectively, while ensuring that medical marijuana clinics are a positive presence wherever they operate. When Measure 74 passes in November, let's agree to come together as Oregonians and make the system work.Robert Wolfe is media liaison for the Measure 74 campaign. This opinion was signed by John Sajo of Dillard, the principal author of Ballot Measure 74, Anthony Johnson of Portland, co-author and co-chief petitioner; and Alice Ivany of Toledo and and Jim Klahr of Milwaukie, co-chief petitioners.Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)Author: Robert WolfePublished: October 17, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Mail TribuneContact: letters mailtribune.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 18, 2010 at 12:40:01 PT
NPR: Opinions Traded on MMJ Dispensaries
October 18, 2010Steve Gilmore has twice paid $300 for an Oregon medical marijuana card in hopes of relieving anxiety, depression and chronic pain lingering from breaking his back. Each time, he said, he found it nearly impossible to legally obtain the drug.URL:
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