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Medical Marijuana or Legalization

Current Articles on Medical Marijuana or Legalization

Select a news article or research publication about medical marijuana or marijuana legalization. Get a copy of the article. Write a summary of the article including the following: 1) Write a summary of the story or research that is being described or addressed. 2) What are the proposed solutions (if any) or approaches to marijuana policy? 3) Are differing views described in the article? If so, what are those views? 4) Describe your personal or professional opinions about this issue and the article itself. Bring both your summary and the article to class.

Also: Discern between your personal AOD use policy and an AOD policy for the community. Considering information about marijuana including pharmacology, trends and patterns of use in America, and current debates about legalization- write your position on the following:

What is a practical policy for the USA to adopt (Illegal, legal, decriminalize, medical only) for marijuana? List the reasoning behind your point of view. What is your personal understanding about people who use or abuse or addictively use marijuana?

Oregon Medical Marijuana History

On Nov. 3, 1998, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 67. The result of the “yes” vote (55%) allowed medical use of marijuana in Oregon within specified limits. It also established a state-controlled permit system. In December 1998, the Oregon Legislature passed Measure 67 into law.

The law, known as the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (Oregon Revised Statutes 475.300 – ORS 475.346), provides legal protections for qualified patients; requires a physician-written statement of the patient’s qualifying debilitating medical condition; allows for a caregiver to provide assistance; and mandates an Oregon Health Authority registration system.

In May 1999, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) was created to administer the registration program under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is totally fee-supported. No state funds are used to support the program.

Legal Protection

· The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) protects medical marijuana users in the state of Oregon who comply with its requirements from criminal prosecution for production, possession, or delivery of marijuana.

· The OMMA neither protects marijuana plants from seizure nor individuals from prosecution if the federal government chooses to take action against patients, caregivers or growers under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

· An Oregon Medical Marijuana card protects cardholders only within the state of Oregon.

· Oregon cardholders are only protected in another state if that state legally accepts Oregon’s medical marijuana cards. Because medical marijuana programs vary by state, you may want to contact the state to which you are traveling for information on its laws.

· An Oregon cardholder acts at his or her own risk when possessing, producing or delivering medical marijuana in another state without a medical marijuana card from that state.

· Nothing in the OMMA specifically addresses whether or not you can be evicted or terminated from employment because you are a cardholder. It is up to you to decide whether or not to tell your landlord or employer that you are a cardholder.

· If you have questions about these important issues, consult with an attorney.

Confidentiality

· The OMMP will only communicate directly with the patient.

· All written requests to release information about a patient must be signed and dated by the patient.

· The OMMP will not accept written or verbal requests for information from a caregiver, grower, or any other person or agency without the patient’s written permission.

· The names and addresses of OMMP participants are confidential and not subject to public disclosure.

· Law enforcement personnel may contact the OMMP only to verify whether an individual is a patient, caregiver or grower or that a location is a registered growsite address.

· The OMMP will verify for law enforcement whether the patient, caregiver, grower, or growsite address in question is registered, or if an application is in process.

· The OMMP will disclose patient information to others only at the specific written request of the patient.

Growing and Possession

· The OMMP cannot supply seeds, starter plants, or give advice on how to grow medical marijuana.

· A patient may reimburse his or her grower for the cost of supplies and utilities associated with the production of his or her medical marijuana; the Act does not allow reimbursement for labor or any other costs.

· All usable marijuana, plants, seedlings and starts are the property of the patient and must be returned to the patient upon request.

· Marijuana may be transferred by a registry identification cardholder to another registry identification cardholder as long no consideration is paid for the transfer.

OMMP Statistics as of July 2015:

Number of OMMP patients71,094
Number of current OMMP caregivers35,400
Number of Oregon-licensed physicians with current OMMP patients (MDs and DOs only)  1,698
Number of applications denied/rejected July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015     965 
Conditions*
Agitation related to Alzheimer’s disease86
Cachexia1,176
Cancer3,991
Glaucoma1,098
HIV+/AIDS732
Nausea9,913
PTSD4,652
Severe Pain67,904
Seizures, including but not limited to epilepsy1,969
Persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those caused by Multiple Sclerosis20,060
 *A patient may have more than one diagnosed qualifying medical condition. 
Number of patient registrants per county (Oregon only)
Baker234
Benton1,120
Clackamas5,111
Clatsop674
Columbia918
Coos1,581
Crook363
Curry908
Deschutes3,696
Douglas2,427
Grant112
Harney105
Hood River324
Jackson8,476
Jefferson369
Josephine5,550
Klamath1,246
Lake124
Lane7,973
Lincoln1,402
Linn2,081
Malheur632
Marion3,898
Morrow69
Multnomah12,329
Polk1,123
Tillamook556
Umatilla627
Union391
Wallowa139
Wasco430
Washington4,825
Yamhill1,212
Combined total patient cardholder count for: Gilliam, Sherman, and Wheeler Counties*65
*Note: To protect the confidentiality of patients, the responses for these counties have been combined.

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