Portland NORML Van to Salem TODAY to Fight SB 936

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Protect OMMP Medical Grows! Join Us in Salem Today!

Oregon’s legislature is about to severely undercut the medical marijuana system!  Senate Bill 936 would, among other things, restrict medical growers to just 12 mature plants if they grow in a residential area.  That means growers serving more than two cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, or hospice patients will have to tell some of them to go back to the black market to get their medicine!

If you would like to catch a ride in the Portland NORML Van today to help lend your voice to the testimony against SB 936, please meet at our headquarters, 3608 NE 75th Ave (between NE Sandy & NE Fremont) this afternoon before 3pm.  The van leaves at 3pm sharp so we can beat I-5 traffic south to Salem.  The hearing begins at 5pm in Hearing Room B at the state capitol.

Please put our best foot forward.  Nobody’s expecting you to wear a suit and tie… but nobody’s accepting tie-dye t-shirts and flip-flops, either.  This is an official hearing and it requires respectful dress and demeanor.  Don’t let our opponents use our appearance as a reason to dismiss our concerns.  If you can’t make the trip with us, be sure to contact your legislators and let them know, respectfully, how you feel.  Here are some talking points from our friend Anthony Johnson, Measure 91 Chief Petitioner and spokesman for the New Approach Oregon campaign:

Just Say No to Senate Bill 936!

While sensible regulations and oversight can be fine, SB 936 simply goes too far, costing too many patients their medicine and putting too much of a burden on medical providers. Under SB 936, growers may not provide for more than 2 patients in residential areas and cooperative gardens will be prohibited from growing for more than 4 patients anywhere. Additionally, growers are forced to provide monthly reports to the Oregon Health Authority detailing every aspect of their plant numbers, production, processing, to whom the medical cannabis is provided and they must keep these records for 7 years or be in violation of the law.

1. Reducing patient cards to a maximum of 2 in residential areas and 4 elsewhere will most likely cost over 12,000 patients their grower and their supply of medicine. We don’t even know the total number of patients that will lose their grower, as no one knows how many growers are currently growing in residential-zoned areas, but we do know that thousands of patients will lose their grower if SB 936 passes.

2. Many growers will choose to stop growing for patients if forced to report monthly and keep the records for 7 full years. This is too burdensome for many growers, especially those who are patients themselves.

3. Many patients live in areas without a state-licensed dispensary. Senate Bill 936 forces them into the black market. Over 56% of voters just passed Measure 91, hoping to limit the black market, but SB 936 defeats that purpose.

4. Over 40% of patients are low income, on some type of government assistance. These patients, battling poverty as well as their severe and debilitating medical condition, will be forced to go without medical cannabis.

5. Thousands of patients’ lives will be harmed. Medical marijuana states have been shown to reduce the number of opiate overdoses and suicides. Senate Bill 936 is literally a matter of life and death for many patients.

By the end of this weekend, please email members of the Measure 91 Implementation Committee and let them know that they should vote “NO” on Senate Bill 936. Let’s make sure that their inboxes are full on Monday morning. You can simply urge them to vote “NO” on SB 936 because thousands of sick and disabled patients will lose safe access to medicine, hurting their health and well-being.

You can copy and paste these addresses into the To: line of your email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

On Monday, March 30th, please call members of the Measure 91 Implementation Committee to simply urge them to vote “NO” on SB 396 because it hurts too many sick and disabled patients:

Sen. Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1718
Sen. Jeff Kruse: 503-986-1701
Sen. Lee Beyer: 503-986-1706
Rep. Peter Buckley: 503-986-1405
Rep. Ken Helm: 503-986-1434
Rep. Ann Lininger: 503-986-1438
Rep. Carl Wilson: 503-986-1403
Sen. Ted Ferioli: 503-986-1950
Rep. Andy Olson: 503-986-1415
Sen. Floyd Prozanski: 503-986-1704

This is the press release we sent to Oregon media this morning:

Portland NORML Caravans to Salem to Save OMMP

Local NORML chapter raises concerns about SB 936, urging supporters of OMMP to call their legislators, and join NORML in a caravan to today’s public hearing

PORTLAND - The Portland chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is rallying supporters of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) to make their voices heard about SB 936, which they argue threatens safe access for the most desperate patients in the program. They have organized a caravan, including a 12 person passenger van to head to Salem today to show their support for patients and growers.

Among the provisions in SB 936 are limits on medical marijuana growers to just 12 plants within residential areas and 24 plants in non-residential areas. Portland NORML says many patients rely on growers who are cultivating for multiple patients and that SB 936 would make it impossible for these growers to serve all of their patients.

“Despite 56 percent of Oregonians and 71 percent of Portlanders voting for an initiative that three times promised not to alter medical marijuana access, SB 936 seems hell-bent on doing just that,” said Portland NORML Executive Director Russ Belville.

SB 936 would mandate tracking, and reporting by medical marijuana growers to the state, and require that growers keep records on file for seven years. It would also allow the Oregon Health Authority to inspect grow sites, including those with 12 plants or less. Opponents of this bill argue that this could have disastrous consequences, leaving the state’s most vulnerable patients without access to growers, as many growers will find these new regulations too burdensome.

“It is far too soon to be so drastically changing our successful medical marijuana program when our recreational program hasn’t even been established yet.  These bills would have a devastating effect on some of the most vulnerable Oregon patients who rely on personal marijuana cultivators acting from compassion. Let’s focus our limited legislative time on getting recreational marijuana done right; once that is established, we can examine the medical marijuana program for refinements.”

Portland NORML is calling on all supporters of Measure 91 and the OMMP to contact their legislators today to make their voices heard on SB 936. Today’s public hearing will take place during the Joint Committee on Implementing Measure 91’s work session in Hearing Room B from 5pm-7pm. There is also a hearing scheduled on Wednesday for SB 936.

For more information about today’s caravan or about Portland NORML’s work representing adult marijuana consumers you can find them at

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Russ Belville

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

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