By Steve Elliott
Medical marijuana patients in Oregon will have a lot more to worry about than just their health, if some lawmakers have their way. They'll also have to worry about getting their medical marijuana cards renewed every 60 days.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on SB 281, a bill that would allow people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions for medicinal cannabis. But at the hearing, a number of amendments were proposed, including one by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg), that would require medical marijuana patients to renew their registry identification card every two months.
Currently, patients are required to renew their MMJ cards once a year.
Under the amendment, patients would be forced to provide the Oregon Health Authority "updated documentation" from their physician that medical cannabis could help them reduce their symptoms.
The supposed intent behind the onerous requirement of renewing every 60 days was to "make sure that cardholders see their doctor regularly just as they would if they were renewing any other prescription," legislative staff claimed.
It would be difficult for patients to schedule an appointment and continually renew their cards every 60 days, according to Iraq war veteran Jared Townsend, who told lawmakers he was opposed to the amendment to SB 281.
"I think it's just a ploy to clog the system," Townsend said.