Oregon Regulated Medical Marijuana Supply System Act, Measure 74 (2010)

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An Oregon Regulated Medical Marijuana Supply System Act, Measure 74 (temporarily titled as Initiative 28) appeared on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute where it was defeated.[1][2]

Initiative 28 would have created a system where farmers could become licensed by the State of Oregon to grow and distribute marijuana crops to medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. Specifically the initiative would have allowed the establishment of privately owned, non-profit dispensaries. All dispensaries and growers, however, would have been subject to state regulations. The measure would have allowed people to continue growing medical marijuana at home with a license. Additionally, the initiative would have allowed the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services to research the safety of medical marijuana in order to establish quality control standards.[3][4]

On petition deadline day, July 2, supporters announced that they had collected a total of about 130,000 signatures, exceeding the state's minimum requirement of 82,769 signatures.[5] The Oregon Secretary of State certified the initiative for the 2010 ballot on July 16 following the validation of 85,848 (65.7%) submitted signatures. A total of 130,702 signatures were filed.[6][7]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Oregon Measure 74 (2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No791,18655.79%
Yes 627,016 44.21%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website.

Text of measure

Title

The certified ballot title for Measure 74 was:[8]

Establishes medical marijuana supply system and assistance and research programs; allows limited selling of marijuana.

Result of "Yes" Vote: “Yes” vote establishes supply system, low income assistance program for medical marijuana cardholders; establishes research program; grants limited state regulation authority; allows limited marijuana sales.

Result of "No" Vote: “No” vote retains current law without: supply or assistance programs for medical marijuana cardholders; or authorization for state organized scientific program; or medical marijuana sales.

Summary

According to the description prepared by the Oregon Secretary of State:[8]

Current law allows specified individuals to become registered growers of medical marijuana by meeting criteria; does not allow marijuana sales or state assistance to cardholders in obtaining marijuana; limits growers to six mature plants and 24 ounces of useable marijuana for each cardholder; limits certain growers to growing for four cardholders; limits growers’ reimbursements. Measure creates medical marijuana supply system composed of licensed dispensaries and producers. Establishes licensing guidelines. Producers and dispensaries can possess 24 plants and 96 ounces of marijuana. Allows limited sales (by expanding cost categories currently not reimbursable). Exempts dispensaries, dispensary employees, and producers from most marijuana criminal statutes. Establishes low income cardholders’ assistance program. Allows state to conduct or fund research of cardholders’ marijuana use. Retains grow registration system. Other provisions.

Financial impact

The financial impact, according to the Secretary of State's office:[8]

The measure would have required an estimated state expenditures between $400,000 and $600,000 each year beginning in 2012. These costs are to be paid only from program fees required by the measure.

The exact amount by which the measure will increase state revenues cannot be determined. Potential additional state revenue could range from a minimum of $400,000 to a maximum of between $3 million and $20 million in the first year. The amount of revenue will be affected by the number of dispensaries, number of participants, pricing and costs of production.

The measure has no direct effect on local government spending or revenues.

Background

Marijuana on the ballot in 2010
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As of January 1, 2010, 26,274 patients were registered with Oregon to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. 5,836 patients had applications pending; they were allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes while waiting for their application to be reviewed. About 15,000 "marijuana grow sites" were estimated to exist in Oregon.[2]

Medical marijuana was approved by voters in 1998 - Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Measure 67 (1998). The measure allowed only patients with state-issued cards or caregivers to grow a specified number of marijuana plants. The law, however, did not allow marijuana sales.[9]

Support

The chief petitioners for the amendment were Anthony Johnson, Alice J. Ivany and James L. Klahr of Oregon Green Free and the Coalition for Patients Rights 2010 (CPR). Progressive Reform of Oregon (Pro-Oregon) also supported Measure 74 and released the first commercial urging its passage. It was also backed by the Voter Power Foundation, led by John Sajo who was co-author of the measure along with Anthony Johnson. Sajo helped draft 1998's Measure 67, which made medical marijuana legal in the state while Johnson co-authored measures during law school that decriminalized personal amounts of marijuana and legalized medical marijuana possession of patients with a doctor's recommendation in Columbia, Missouri, in 2004.

Sajo said, ."..now that the Obama administration has indicated that they will allow states to regulate medical marijuana, Oregon needs to create a regulated system so every patient can access quality controlled medicine."[9]

Supporters argued that, "Patients need to be able to go buy their marijuana in a safe, convenient, regulated, appropriate way." At the time the initiative was proposed, Oregonians were required to grow their own marijuana, find a caregiver or find a grower. According to supporters, the proposed dispensaries would have been created by private nonprofit entities and would sell marijuana grown by private growers. All dispensaries and growers would have been subject to state regulation.[10]

In early October 2010 the Democratic Party of Oregon gave its endorsement to Measure 74.[11] The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association also announced its endorsement of the proposed measure in early October. According to reports, the association believed the law would help improve public safety and prevent sick people from being charged with crimes.[12]

11 Voters' Pamphlet Arguments were submitted in support of Measure 74. Arguments were submitted by former Portland Police Chief and Mayor, Tom Potter; retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice Betty Roberts; former federal prosecutor Kristine Olson; as well as several doctors and nurses, including, Dr. Richard Bayer, Chief Petitioner of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.[13]

Donors

The following is a list of donors in support of Measure 74. The committee was first formed on October 8, 2010[14].

Contributor Amount
Peter Lewis (OH) $10,000
Foundation for Constitutional Protection $8,000
Regulate Medical Marijuana $3,000

Opposition

A citizen group called Oregonians Against Legalization of Marijuana was opposed to the proposed measure. A citizen group known as Oregonians Against Legalization of Marijuana was adamantly opposed to the measure based primarily on the premise it was another step toward marijuana legalization. Group founder Shirly Morgan wrote, "Measure 74 is costly and lacks clarity on regulation, operation and enforcement," in the state voters' pamphlet.[15]

The measure was also opposed by the Oregon District Attorneys Association, the Oregon State Sheriffs Association and the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police.[15]

Opponents of the proposed measure argued that dispensaries were an "obvious location for crime." Sgt. Erik Fisher, of the Oregon police Drug Enforcement Section, said, "It'll make it easier to skirt the law. You make it more available to patients, you make more available to criminals."[16][17]

An original backer of the 1998 Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by voters, was opposed to the 2010 proposed measure. Stormy Ray said that the proposed measure could create opportunities for abuse of the system. Ray specifically pointed to the inexpensive $10 license fee. Additionally, she pointed to the possible price increases on marijuana should the proposed system be implemented. According to Ray, the existing system cost about $40-60 per ounce but with the proposed system it could cost up to $200 an ounce.[18]

Donors

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, there were no registered committees in opposition to Measure 74[19].

Reports and analysis

Oregon Citizen Initiative Review

See also: Oregon Citizen Initiative Review

On August 20, 2010 the panel announced their findings on Measure 74. According to reports, panelists voted 13-11 in favor of the proposed measure.[20] Panelists found that the measure's language "lacks clarity on regulation, operation and enforcement," however they also found that the proposed program was "financially self-sustaining and may provide funds for research."[21][22][23]

The statements by the majority of the panel, those in favor and those opposed can be read here.

The panel consisted of 24 randomly selected citizens. According to reports, organizer Healthy Democracy Oregon said that the panel included a cross-section of age, ethnicity and party affiliation. The group heard arguments for and against a proposed ballot measure. At the end of each week, the panel offered a statement based on the hearings and arguments presented during the week.[24] The crafted statements by the panel were printed on the state's voters' pamphlet.[25]

In 2009 the Oregon State Legislature endorsed the Citizen Initiative Review as a pilot project. According to Healthy Democracy Oregon, organizers of the project, no state tax money was involved in the process. The total cost was estimated at $150,000 and was funded through grants and private donations. The project was evaluated by a team from the University of Washington.[25]

Commercials and videos

"Yes on Measure 74" videos and commercials:

"No on Measure 74" videos and commercials: none available

Radio ads

"Yes on Measure 74" radio ads:

"No on Measure 74" videos and commercials: none available

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Willamette Week supported Measure 74. In an editorial, the board said, "This measure, which would create a business model for the sale of medical pot, is one of the better-crafted initiatives—and passage would move Oregon beyond the antediluvian system now in place for more than 36,000 Oregonians who are prescribed ganja. Currently, if you have a medical marijuana card, you find someone willing to grow pot for you, but they cannot charge you. The status quo leaves many patients, unless they have a good friend willing to grow, to their own devices on the black market."[26]
  • The Eugene Weekly endorsed Measure 74. In an editorial, the board said, "Tightly regulated and taxed, marijuana poses far less of a threat than booze, tobacco or prescription drug abuse. Police and prosecutors have far better things to do with their time than continuing to obsess about marijuana. Opposition to Measure 74 is based more on political and cultural bigotry than any rational examination of the issue."[27]
  • The Source Weekly endorsed Measure 74. In an editorial, the board simply urged a "YES" vote on Measure 74.[28]

Opposition

  • The Oregonian was opposed to Measure 74. In an editorial, the board said, "We agree that state and federal laws governing medical marijuana are contradictory and collectively nonsensical. We also agree that many sick people in Oregon might be better off if marijuana was de-politicized as a medicine and treated more like morphine or other prescribed, highly regulated drugs. Measure 74 isn't a solution to those problems. It's just a legalization measure with more protections for criminals than for patients."[29]
  • The Mail Tribune was opposed to the proposed measure. "Legalization would solve many of the problems of the medical marijuana system without having to create a new state bureaucracy. It would also raise an entirely new set of issues for Oregon voters to consider. We are not prepared to address the question of legalization now, but we suspect it will not be long before we must. In the meantime, voters should just say no to Measure 74," said the editorial board.[30]
  • The Register-Guard opposed Measure 74: "The medical marijuana law may need improvement, but Oregon would be better off learning from other states’ experiments in this area."[31]
  • The Daily Astorian opposed Measure 74. "No. There is too much vagueness in this initiative. State-sanctioned marijuana distribution is in its infancy. Oregon is better off to go slowly and observe the mistakes of other states, such as California," said the editorial board.[32]
  • The Oregon Daily Emerald opposed Measure 74. "Measure 74 is missing too much information to be passed in this election. It doesn't limit the amount a cardholder can purchase in a given time period, the number of grow sites or the number of dispensaries that can be located in a community, and it doesn't address any drug problems. What's more, the lack of regulation could invite drug abuse. Oregon's marijuana measure needs more work, so vote no on Measure 74," said the editorial board.[33]
  • The Wallowa County Chieftain opposed Measure 74. The editorial board said, "The fine print does indeed contain some worrisome details. The only restrictions imposed by Measure 74 on the location of dispensaries is that they can't be within a residential neighborhood or within 1,000 feet of a school, and it does not put a cap on the total number of dispensaries that would be allowed in any community. Any modifications of those details are left to individual communities."[34]

Neutral

  • The Albany Democrat-Herald chose not to take a position on Measure 74 because, "It’s pointless to recommend a yes or no vote. People opposing the medical pot law will vote no. Supporters of the current law likely will vote yes." In an editorial, the board did continue to state, "If something is legal to use — such as liquor and tobacco — it’s not unreasonable to authorize places where it may be sold."[35]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures
  • A poll conducted August 18-21, 2010 by Grove Insight revealed that 41% of polled voters favored the proposed measure, while 46% were opposed and 12% were undecided. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. A total of 600 registered Oregon voters were polled.[36][37]
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
August 18-21, 2010 Grove Insight 41% 46% 12% 600

Campaigning complaint

On October 29, 2010 Sgt. Erik Fisher of the Oregon State Police drug-enforcement section became involved in a Oregon Secretary of State investigation on a campaigning complaint surrounding Measure 74. The original complaint was filed against Medford Police Chief Randy Schoen, Medford Assistant Chief Tim George and Medford Lt. Tim Doney. A total of nine state police officers were included in complaints that they campaigned in opposition of the measure.[38] Specifically, the investigation involving Fisher revolved around comments made by Fisher in newspaper articles in the Mail Tribune and the Eugene Register-Guard. According to state law, Oregon Revised Statute 260.432 excluded public officials from promoting or opposing any measure or candidate as part of their duties According to reports, a violation of this law resulted in a fine of $75.[39]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements and 2010 ballot measure petition signature costs

Initiative petitions for statutes required six percent of 1,379,475, or 82,769 signatures. The deadline for filing signatures for the November 2, 2010 ballot was July 2, 2010.

  • On January 11, 2010 supporters of Initiative 28 presented about 61,000 petition signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State.[2] According to reports, initiative supporters have already filed 80,543 signatures as of March 31.[40]
  • In May 2010, supporters submitted an additional 20,000 signatures bringing their total number of signatures to 112,000, far surpassing the 82,769 requirement.[10][41][42][43][44]
  • According July reports, supporters had 74,537 signatures validated and on petition deadline day supporters submitted an additional 22,390 signatures.[45][46] The Secretary of State's office had 30 days to verify the names.[47]

See also

Related measures

Approveda Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Measure 67 (1998)

News Articles

External links

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Additional reading

Editorials

References

  1. The Argus Observer,"Oregon approves five of seven ballot measures," November 5, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Washington Post, "Ore. ballot measure seeks pot dispensaries," January 12, 2010
  3. KMTR,"Signatures in for Oregon medical marijuana dispensary initiative," May 21, 2010
  4. Statesman Journal,"Petitioners seek medical marijuana outlets," May 21, 2010
  5. Salem-News.com,"New Initiative for Regulated Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Bound for Oregon Ballot," July 7, 2010
  6. Willamette Week,"Two Initiatives Qualify For The Oregon Ballot," July 16, 2010
  7. Oregon Business,"Jobs Watch: Marijuana measure makes ballot," July 16, 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Oregon Secretary of State,"Measure 74 Text," accessed October 25, 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Statesman Journal,"Medical pot advocates petition Oregon to allow dispensaries," May 20, 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 Register-Guard,"Marijuana initiative drive gathers enough names," May 21, 2010
  11. Firedoglake.com,"Democratic Party of Oregon Endorses Measure 74, Medical Marijuana Dispensaries," October 4, 2010
  12. KDRV,"Ore. Criminal Defense Lawyers Assoc. endorses medical marijuana measure," October 4, 2010
  13. OregonVotes.org,"Measure 74, Arguments in Favor," accessed October 19, 2010
  14. ORESTAR "Statement of Organization-Yes on 74 (2010)," accessed October 25, 2010
  15. 15.0 15.1 Mail Tribune,"Measure 74 not answer, some say," October 4, 2010
  16. Associated Press,"Marijuana dispensaries could help sick Oregonians," July 25, 2010
  17. The Oregonian,"Medical marijuana dispensaries could mean big changes for Oregon," July 24, 2010
  18. Willamette Week,"What One Original Medical Marijuana Supporter Thinks of Measure 74," August 10, 2010
  19. ORESTAR "Committee Search"(Search 2010 General Election, Measure 74)
  20. Statesman Journal,"Panel backs dispensaries for medical marijuana," August 21, 2010
  21. The Register-Guard,"Panel endorses pot issue on ballot," August 21, 2010
  22. The Oregonian,"Citizen panel weighs in on medical marijuana initiative; 13 of 24 people support Measure 74," August 20, 2010
  23. World News Report,"Citizen's Initiative Review Votes "Yes" on Oregon M74," August 21, 2010
  24. Oregon Public Broadcasting,"Citizen Panel Reviewing Oregon Ballot Measures," August 9, 2010
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Oregonian,"Oregon citizens panel will weigh in on ballot measures for November election," August 10, 2010
  26. The Willamette Week,"Save Our State" October 13, 2010
  27. The Eugene Weekly,"Election Endorsements" October 14, 2010
  28. The Source Weekly,"Measures 71-76" October 16, 2010
  29. The Oregonian,"No on Measure 74, a free-for-all on pot," September 12, 2010
  30. Mail Tribune,"Measure 74: No," October 10, 2010
  31. Register-Guard, "Summary of recommendations," October 18, 2010
  32. The Daily Astorian,"Ballot Measure 74," October 19, 2010
  33. Oregon Daily Emerald,"Editorial: Emerald recommendations for ballot measures," October 21, 2010
  34. Wallowa County Chieftain,"EDITORIAL: The state ballot measures: our recommendations," October 14, 2010
  35. The Albany Democrat-Herald,"Editorial: Another Step" October 18, 2010
  36. Grove Insight,"Findings from a Statewide Poll on Oregon Ballot Measures," September 2, 2010
  37. The Oregonian,"Poll shows uncertain fate for Oregon ballot measures," September 7, 2010
  38. Associated Press,"Nine Oregon police officers accused of violating election laws by campaigning against marijuana measure," November 1, 2010
  39. Mail Tribune,"OSP sergeant added to Measure 74 complaint," October 31, 2010
  40. The Oregonian,"So far, three Oregon initiatives look likely to qualify for ballot," April 15, 2010
  41. Associated Press,"Medical marijuana dispensary submits ballot bid," May 20, 2010
  42. Willamette Week,"Pot Initiative Poised to Become Ballot Measure," May 20, 2010
  43. Ashland Daily Tidings,"State gets medical marijuana dispensary initiative," May 24, 2010
  44. The Oregonian,"Oregon initiative petitioning gearing up, but few may make ballot," May 17, 2010
  45. Blue Oregon,"Signatures turned in for fall ballot measures," July 3, 2010
  46. The Statesman Journal,"Ballot proposals address marijuana, prisons, casino," July 3, 2010
  47. The Oregonian,"Six citizen initiatives may make Oregon's November ballot," July 2, 2010
  48. The Pothead Pundit,"Marijuana Dispensary Initiative Makes the Oregon Ballot," July 17, 2010
  49. The Register-Guard,"Pot, crime to be on ballot," July 17, 2010
  50. News Junkie Post,"Oregon To Vote On Marijuana Dispensaries," July 17, 2010
  51. FireDogLake,"Oregon to Vote on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in November," July 19, 2010