John Sajo

Oregon: Medical Marijuana Program Numbers Decrease, Patient and Grower Restrictions Increase

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Since recreational cannabis sales became legal, the number of people with medical cards dropped from 77,000 to 67,000, according to state officials

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Thousands of patients are letting their official Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card lapse due to the financial cost to obtain the card. The annual fee is not worth the savings to obtain the medical card, according to several patients.

The Oregon Legislature recently passed SB 1057, which will subject medical growers to expensive seed to sale tracking. It does not allow the growers sell into the legal market.

Moment in History: 1985 Oregon Marijuana Initiative Petition Signature Turn-In

Learning from the Past; Looking to the Future

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! In 1985, the Oregon Marijuana Initiative (OMI), with petitioners including Jack Herer, Paul Stanford, John Sajo and countless others, collected over 87,000 signatures necessary to place the issue of legalization on the ballot.

In 1986, the initiative officially became Oregon's Ballot Measure 5. The measure, which sought to legalize cannabis, united activists' from across the state. By some estimates, cannabis was Oregon's largest cash crop in 1986.

The ballot measure was ultimately rejected by Oregon voters with 279,479 "Yes" and 781,922 "No" votes, or 26.33% support.

It has been 25 years since that vote and societal attitudes have continued to change toward cannabis. The prohibitionist propaganda has faded with time and the debunking of racist mythology. We are clearer in educating ourselves and others about this valuable plant. Medicinal cannabis has become legal in Oregon and across the country. Farmers are beginning to see the value that hemp could bring to our economy as well with hemp food, fuel, clothing, paper, building materials and so much more.

Oregonians for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 are currently circulating petitions for Initiative 9, to make hemp and cannabis legal in Oregon.

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