On November 3, 2009, Maine voters became the first to approve — by initiative — the creation of state-licensed not-for-profit dispensaries to assist in the production and distribution of marijuana to qualified patients. This November, Oregon citizens will decide on the issue when they vote on Measure 74, The Oregon Regulate Medical Marijuana Supply System Act of 2010.
Since 1998, tens of thousands of Oregonians have received state approval to use and grow cannabis for medical purposes. Measure 74 — which was recently endorsed by the Democrat Party of Oregon — seeks to provide these patients with safe, above-ground, reliable access to their medicine.
Oregon’s Measure 74: Regulation is the key for supplying medical marijuana[excerpt] Clearly, we need to balance supply and demand in any regulated system. We must bring medical marijuana supplies under the law, but not strangle the new system. After all, we don’t limit the number of pharmacies in Oregon — instead, we regulate them. By any measure, medical marijuana will be far more tightly restricted.
There can be no doubt that we need to act. The current system is unworkable and completely unregulated. There are now thousands of legal, medical marijuana growers across Oregon, but not a single one is ever inspected. No one pays taxes. Anyone can go into business, without background checks.
… All of this would change under Measure 74. Producers and suppliers would need to get licenses, pay taxes, subject themselves to inspections and have open books. Suppliers would also need to operate as not-for-profit enterprises.
Measure 74’s tough rules, enforced by inspections and fines, provide a better alternative.
Measure 74 will improve the quality of life for seriously ill patients who qualify for medical use of 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.
We all share common concerns for our communities and a basic compassion for the seriously ill. Let’s pass Measure 74 and agree to come together as Oregonians to make the system work.