Portland NORML - the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Russ Belville - Executive Director - exec@portlandnorml.org
Randy Quast - Deputy Director - deputy@portlandnorml.org
Ensuring that responsible legal adult marijuana consumers are provided the same
rights, privileges, and responsibilities as adult alcohol and tobacco consumers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Contact: Russ Belville, Executive Director - (971)-803-8512 - portlandnorml@gmail.com

Portland NORML Evaluates the First Wave of MarijuanaRelated Bills at the Oregon Legislature
Most Bills Filed Are “Unnecessary”, “Impractical”, “Counter-Productive”, or
“Offensive”, Ignore the Will of 70%-90% of Portland Voters
PORTLAND -- In the first day of the legislative session, at least sixteen bills have been filed to alter or
amend the will of the voters who supported Measure 91, the initiative to legalize personal use and
cultivation of marijuana. Portland NORML’s recommendations follow:
House Bill 2040 & 2041: This legislation seeks to create exclusionary zones prohibiting marijuana shops
within one mile of schools. Recommendation: Rejection.
“Measure 91 makes no mention of school exclusionary zones,” explains Portland NORML Executive
Director Russ Belville, “and current law only restricts dispensaries by 1,000 feet. A one mile buffer
around just Lincoln High School in downtown Portland would bar marijuana shops from the entirety of
the Pearl, Old Town, Downtown, and Goose Hollow districts, a completely impractical situation that
defies the will of well over 70% of those districts’ voters. Adult marijuana shops should be allowed to
locate in the same zones adult beer and cigarette sales are allowed.”
House Bill 2636: This bill would restrict physicians to recommending medical marijuana to no more than
450 patients. Recommendation: Rejection.
“We’re offended by the idea that there should only be a certain number of medical marijuana patients.
What shall a doctor tell a cancer patient who happens to be his 451st appointment?” asks Belville.
“Many Portland-area doctors would like to recommend medical marijuana, but their insurance, their
hospital, their clinic, or their contracts forbid it. Besides, with the evolution of personal marijuana
availability, only the neediest patients are going to continue enrolling in the medical marijuana program,
making this bill unnecessary.”
Senate Bill 445: A proposal to include a warning against marijuana use by pregnant women.
Recommendation: Approval.
“While there is no definitive science showing marijuana use to be a danger to a developing fetus, and, in
fact, some science showing benefits,” Belville notes, “we should be extra cautious when it comes to
pregnant mothers’ use of any drug - from alcohol to Zoloft. A woman and her doctor can make the final
determination about what is right for her.”
House Bills 2781 & 2771: These bills concern denying state funds to day-care providers with medical
marijuana cards and drug-testing certain day-care providers. Recommendation: Rejection.

Portland NORML - Web: PortlandNORML.org - Twitter: @PortlandNORML - Facebook: PortlandNORML

Portland NORML - Ensuring that responsible legal adult marijuana consumers are provided the same
rights, privileges, and responsibilities as adult alcohol and tobacco consumers.
Page 2 of 2
“Why would nobody think twice about funding and allowing day-care providers whose workers use an
anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, or pain-killer prescription,” wonders Belville, “or preventing day-care
workers from using cigarettes or alcohol on their own time, but deny funding for and drug-test
marijuana use among them -- a drug far safer than all of those? This is an offensive double-standard,
especially considering the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act says marijuana ‘should be treated like other
medicines.’ Certainly rules should exist to prevent marijuana use and access among the children or
where they’d be exposed to the smoke, just as I’m sure we’d all prefer day-care providers to not smoke
cigarettes or drink alcohol among the children, but these bills go too far.”
House Bill 2668: Allow industrial hemp farming without a state permit. Recommendation: Approval.
Belville says, “If the people can grow four psychoactive marijuana plants without permit, a farmer
should absolutely be able to plant non-psychoactive industrial hemp without permit.”
Senate Bill 464: This measure would ban the home processing of marijuana extracts using explosive
solvents by medical marijuana patients. Recommendation: Amendment.
“Measure 91 clearly bans the home production of butane hash oil, which has provided numerous
examples of residential explosions,” Belville states. “Clearly there is nothing about being disabled or ill
that provides a greater safety margin for such activities. Portland NORML would prefer a system of
licensing by which a person could demonstrate their ability to produce personal use amounts of solvent
concentrates in a safe manner, such as closed-loop equipment that traps flammable gases or open-air
properties with plenty of ventilation.”
Senate Bills 479 & 480: These bills create medical marijuana studies. Recommendation: Approval.
“Really, after sixteen years of medical marijuana we’re finally going to start asking the patients how it
works for them and how to improve the system?” Belville asks sarcastically. “These bills should have
been passed a decade ago, but better late than never.”
Senate Bills 124 & 164: Measures intended to tighten penalties on selling or producing marijuana
within 1,000 feet of a school. Recommendation: Rejection.
“Take a look around Portland and find your nearest school,” Belville suggests. “Now, count up how
many locations within 1,000 feet of it where an adult can buy alcohol or cigarettes. Why should the
standard be any different for marijuana, especially when we’re talking about producing it in one’s
home? Are we going to ban people from brewing their own beer at home if they’re too close to a
school? This measure is counter-productive, as many home growers won’t realize they’re too close,
thus making them into the criminals Measure 91 was passed to eliminate.”
Senate Bill 460: This would allow existing dispensaries to remain in place if a new school moves within
1,000 feet. Recommendation: Approval.
“This is a no-brainer,” says Belville. “If new marijuana shops have to take in consideration their
proximity to existing schools, then new schools can be required to consider their proximity to a
marijuana shop.”
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Portland NORML - Web: PortlandNORML.org - Twitter: @PortlandNORML - Facebook: PortlandNORML