senate bill 964

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Oregon: Harmful Bill To Limit Medical Marijuana Growers Passes Senate 29-1

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Oregon Senate on Wednesday voted 29-1 for a harmful bill tightening regulations on medical marijuana cultivation, with the claimed intent of reining in diversions to the black market.

The measure, Senate Bill 964, has encountered spirited opposition among many medical marijuana patients and growers, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian. But lawmakers -- echoing their northern neighbors in the Washington Legislature -- claimed the success of Oregon's new recreational cannabis market depends on clamping down on marijuana grown for patients.

Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), chair of a House-Senate joint committee on implementing the legalization initiative approved by voters last November, claimed the "large amount" of marijuana diverted to the black market makes it harder for licensed sellers to compete, and could result in federal action against the state.

Oregon now produces an estimated $1 billion a year of "largely black market medical marijuana that ends up all over the country, a problem which is far worse than I ever dreamed," Sen. Burdick dramatically claimed.

Oregon: Call To Action - Medical Marijuana Is Being Undermined By SB 964

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In a scenario which is becoming sadly familiar, another state (hello, Washington!) is using the pretext of recreational marijuana legalization in an attempt to shut down medical marijuana facilities.

Some politicians in Salem want to undermine Oregon voters by making it easy to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, according to New Approach Oregon. If Senate Bill 964 passes, city councils and county commissions could arbitrarily shut down medical marijuana facilities — without a vote of the people.

"That’s not the policy Oregonians voted for when passing Measure 91 with more than 56 percent of the vote," reads an email from New Approach Oregon. "We promised to protect medical marijuana patients who depend on local dispensaries to get life-saving medicine."

But Senate Bill 964 would partially dismantle Oregon’s medical marijuana program. It would invite expensive lawsuits that could disrupt implementation of Measure 91. It would feed the criminal market.

SB 964 is sponsored by Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick and Republican Senator Jeff Kruse.

Both The Oregonian and the Register-Guard have published editorials calling for a public vote, as Measure 91 allows.

Call To Action

Please send emails to the Senate and House Democrats right now.

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