Measure 33

Argument in Favor

Patients and Caregivers Say Vote Yes on Measure 33

Oregon Green Free (OGF) is a non-profit organization of Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patients and caregivers, registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMA).

We support Measure 33 for the following reasons:

It addresses many of the problems patients/caregivers have encountered under the laws of the original OMMA.

It allows for a more reasonable amount of medication to be grown and possessed by the patient/caregiver.

It allows for the creations of dispensaries where patients/caregivers may obtain medical marijuana and not have to resort to the black market.

It frees up law enforcements time, and resources, to concentrate on more serious crimes.

It supplies patients who are incapable both physically and financially access to free medicine.

Oregon Green Free does not endorse, nor encourage, illegal drug use. We are a group of patients and caregivers who use marijuana as an alternative medicine for the relief of pain, suffering, and as a substitute for more damaging pharmaceuticals.

We ask for your support in passing Ballot Measure 33 to help us do so legally and safely.

Marijuana used for medicinal purposes is medicine and it works.

Please vote Yes on Measure 33.

Oregon Green Free – Patients and Caregivers United

(This information furnished by James L. Klahr, Oregon Green Free.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 33 creates dispensaries to act like pharmacies.

Marijuana is medicine. Qualified patients should be able to get it at Health Department regulated dispensaries just like they would use a pharmacy for other medicine.

Oregon voters passed the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) six years ago. This law allows patients, with a doctor's approval, to grow marijuana for medical use. This law has been a blessing to the thousands of qualified patients who are able to grow marijuana or find a caregiver to grow it for them. But most patients are too sick to grow marijuana or they need it immediately and the OMMA doesn't address where patients are supposed to get it. Measure 33 addresses this.

Our opponents claim marijuana is not medicine. Then why have 1,413 Oregon doctors qualified their patients (in writing)? All the foot dragging on medical marijuana is just hurting patients!

Federal law prevents Oregon pharmacies from selling medical marijuana; Measure 33 creates a system of dispensaries regulated by the Health Department to supply patient's needs. Unlike the current "caregiver" system, dispensaries would be regulated and fees they pay would fund the program.

This system will work for everyone. Patients will be able to get medicine in a safe and secure environment, where they are able to obtain medicine of consistent quality at an affordable price. Law enforcement will have fewer patients growing their own marijuana to worry about. The criminal justice system will save money and can focus on serious crimes. The Oregon Health Plan will save money because many patients can reduce their (subsidized) intake of other drugs when they have medical marijuana. Policy makers will benefit from the scientific research funded by the program.

Vote for compassion and common sense. Please Vote Yes on Measure 33.

(This information furnished by John Sajo, A Life with Dignity Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 33 will pay for itself

The 1998 Voter Pamphlet's estimated fiscal impact for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was, "annual state expenditures are estimated at $147,000.Some or all of these costs may be offset by fees."

As of March 2004 the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program had a cash surplus of $986,356. This is revenue from patient fees that exceeds expenditures to run the program.

Measure 33 will save taxpayers' money.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program costs taxpayers nothing and actually adds to the general fund. The program pays for itself and will continue generating a surplus. Over $25,000 has already been taken from patient fee revenues and put into the general fund by Oregon House Bill 2148. Plus, when patients can get their medical marijuana at dispensaries instead of growing their own, there will be fewer medical marijuana conflicts with law enforcement thus decreasing burden on law enforcement budgets.

Surplus funds generated by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program will be used to fund research into the safety and efficacy of marijuana as medicine. We can do that research right here in Oregon and determine what conditions benefit from marijuana. We can find healthier ways to administer marijuana so patients don't have to smoke it. Scientists can determine what constituents in marijuana are most active and why they work. Our marijuana policy can be guided by science, not myth.

Measure 33 regulates medical marijuana.

After this law passes, medical marijuana will come from regulated, licensed, inspected dispensaries. Patients will know what they are getting. The illegal market supported by desperate patients will dry up.

Measure 33 is a compassionate law that means less suffering for thousands of patients. And it will also save Oregonians money. Please vote Yes on Measure 33.

John Sajo
Chief Petitioner, Measure 33
Dillard, Oregon

(This information furnished by John Sajo, A Life with Dignity Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 33 Facts Point to a Yes Vote

Number of Oregon physicians participating in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program:

1,413

Number of registered patients:

10,196

Number of significant adverse health consequences:

0

Number of pharmacies where patients can buy medical marijuana:

0

Marijuana is medicine. It can be used safely and effectively under a doctor's supervision.

If you or your loved one needed this medicine, wouldn't you want to be able to get it through a safe regulated system?

Shouldn't the 1,413 doctors supervising patient's medical marijuana use have the best possible scientific research to guide them?

Vote Yes on 33

(This information furnished by John Sajo, A Life with Dignity Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Compassionate Physicians Support Measure 33

As physicians, we support the rights of patients to use medicines that might help them treat their conditions. We know medical marijuana helps patients, including those for whom standard pharmaceutical options cause adverse effects or fail. That's why we urge you to vote YES on Measure 33.

For centuries, patients used marijuana (cannabis) as medicine, achieving favorable results to treat a variety of conditions. Even as medical technology improves, pain and symptom control remains an important part of compassionate medical care. Many dying and suffering patients are afflicted with conditions for which the responsible use of marijuana as medicine helps.

Patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, intractable pain and other debilitating conditions report significant relief of symptoms by using marijuana as medicine. Numerous reports and articles including the 1999 Institute of Medicine report commissioned by the White Office of National Drug Control Policy conclude marijuana works as medicine.

Currently, the federal government schedules marijuana so physicians cannot prescribe it even though we can prescribe powerful drugs like morphine. In spite of federal intransigence, we know state laws like the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act help because over 10,000 patients and 1,400 doctors participate.

Measure 33 is an amendment to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act that expands patient access to medical care and medicine. Measure 33 is not legalization because a health care provider must qualify the patient. Primarily, Measure 33 establishes dispensaries so patients can get immediate access to medicine – just like a pharmacy. Please join us and vote YES on Measure 33.

Richard Bayer, MD
Larry Bogart, MD
Alan Cohn, MD
Nancy Crumpacker, MD
David Dodge, MD
Peter Goodwin, MD

(This information furnished by Richard Bayer, MD.)


Argument in Favor

Patients with spinal injuries deserve a reliable source of medicine

Medical marijuana makes my life bearable. I was paralyzed from the neck down by a drunk driver years ago. I am dependent on my caregivers' help to eat, take my medicine, and do just about everything else. I still have pain, even though I can't move. Doctors prescribe morphine and other strong drugs for my pain. And, I am patient-cardholder in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) program.

Marijuana lessens my pain and makes me feel better. When I have a steady supply of good medical marijuana I use less morphine. It makes my life worth living. Measure 33 will help patients gain access to a safe steady supply of medical marijuana.

Many patients with spinal injuries find medical marijuana helps relieve pain and spasm caused by nerve damage . . . even when other medicines fail or cause bad side effects.

Because of restrictions in the current OMMA, it is very difficult for caregivers to help me. I am unable to smoke marijuana so I depend on my caregiver to make medicated cookies that I use. It would be much easier for both of us if we could just buy medical marijuana products at a pharmacy or dispensary. Measure 33 dispensaries would be able to provide patients like me with a consistent supply of medicine. That's why I agreed to be a Chief-Petitioner for Measure 33.

Measure 33 is an amendment to the already successful Oregon Medical Marijuana Act passed by voters in 1998. Measure 33 will add state regulated dispensaries where patients can safely and reliably purchase medical marijuana.

This will improve access to medicine for many patients. So, please join me and Vote Yes on Measure 33.

Ken Brown, quadriplegic
Chief Petitioner, Measure 33
Gresham, Oregon

(This information furnished by Kenneth Scott Brown, A Life with Dignity Committee.)


Argument in Favor

The war on drugs should not interfere with medical care.

Many patients with debilitating conditions benefit from medical use of marijuana. If federally legal, physicians would prescribe marijuana to suffering patients, many of whom are terminally ill. Instead, compassionate citizens must pass state laws to exclude patients with debilitating conditions from state criminal laws. The examination room is for treating patients and should never be a battlefield for the war on drugs. The decisions of dying and suffering patients should be respected.

Some persons with cancer or AIDS find marijuana controls nausea, vomiting, and weight loss allowing them to pursue treatment. Patients with spinal injuries and multiple sclerosis find relief from severe muscle spasms (spasticity) common with nerve damage. Many with painful conditions find relief with marijuana when other medicines fail.

I became a doctor to help others and that's also why I was a chief petitioner for the first Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) passed by Oregonians in 1998. Measure 33 is often called "OMMA 2" because both medical marijuana initiatives are moderate proposals to protect patients with serious illnesses from arrest and prosecution when using marijuana under medical supervision. Neither are "legalization" initiatives since both require authorization by a medical practitioner.

Measure 33 improves the original OMMA by improving access to medical care and medicine. Measure 33 creates medical marijuana dispensaries so someone who needs medical cannabis immediately does not have to wait months to grow a garden. It also allows Nurse Practitioners and Doctors of Naturopathy to sign registry applications and increases possession limits to necessary amounts used by patients. When it comes to pain and symptom management, Measure 33 is truly a "patient bill of rights".

Please join me and vote YES on Measure 33.

Richard Bayer, MD, FACP
Board-Certified, Internal Medicine
Chief Petitioner, Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (1998)
Portland, Oregon

(This information furnished by Richard Bayer, MD.)


Argument in Favor

Compassionate Nurses Support Measure 33

As a Registered Nurse, I am guided by compassion, intelligence and acceptance in my practice. Many patients have told me that marijuana relieves terrible symptoms. I believe them and I'm not alone.

Nurses all across Oregon understand that marijuana is medicine. Our patients use marijuana to treat an illness like cancer or reduce the side-effects of pharmaceuticals. Nurses understand that marijuana is safe. We also believe that patients who suffer from serious or terminal illness have a right to legal protection and a secure supply of medicine. That's why we need Measure 33.

Measure 33 improves on six years' experience of The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Today, many program registrants don't have a "caregiver" to grow medicine for them. Instead, they rely on unregulated "black market" growers. Thousands of other patients are excluded from the registry program because their doctor refuses to write a cannabis recommendation.

Ballot Measure 33 will:

-allow licensed, state-regulated dispensaries to donate and sell safe, affordable supplies of cannabis to registered patients;

-allow Nurse Practitioners and Naturopathic Physicians (in addition to MD's and DO's) to recommend cannabis therapy for any patient whom they think would benefit;

-increase plant and marijuana possession limits to reasonable levels (10 plants and one pound);

-shift the OMMP funding burden from patients by requiring dispensaries to pay fees to the program. This will offset taxpayer expenditures.

Measure 33 will continue including cannabis patients into our nursing, a practice that was begun by The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Measure 33 acknowledges and respects that anyone who suffers from disease has a right to safely use cannabis, or any other medicine that helps. As a nurse, I believe that suffering people should never be victimized by their search for relief. That's why I, and most nurses in Oregon will vote yes on Measure 33. I hope you will too.

Edward Glick, RN
Monmouth, OR
Co-Chief Petitioner, Ballot Measure 33

(This information furnished by Edward Glick, RN.)


Argument in Favor

Patients support Measure 33.

Hello. My name is Jeanelle Bluhm. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and I use medical marijuana. I support ballot measure 33.

Medical marijuana helps control the muscle spasms common with MS so I don't have to take as many prescribed drugs. Overall, medical marijuana has greatly improved my quality of life.

Under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), I was the first patient in Oregon to receive a permit to legally use medical marijuana (registry card #1). I am fortunate because my husband is my medical marijuana caregiver and he is an excellent gardener, which means I have a safe and constant supply of medicine. That means I don't have to try to find medicine on the "scary black market." But there are too many patients that do not have medicine, and that isn't right. Patients should not be forced to risk violence on the black market to obtain the medicine that works best.

The OMMA, passed by Oregonians in 1998, was a great first step in helping medically needy people. But, it didn't provide a way for many patients to have a safe and reliable source of medicine. This is especially true for patients who have an immediate need for medicine but now must wait months for a garden and sometimes months to find a caregiver. Plus, some patient's gardens are damaged by pests or are burglarized and may not reach maturity.

Measure 33 is not legalization because patients must have a debilitating condition and see an attending physician to qualify for a registry card.

Measure 33 will, when passed by the compassionate people of Oregon, provide an adequate amount of medicine. The may be either through growing a garden or through a state regulated dispensary system that will function like a pharmacy. That way all patients can have safe and reliable access to medicine.

Please vote YES on Measure 33. Thank you.

Jeanelle Bluhm
Portland, Oregon

(This information furnished by Jeanelle Bluhm.)


Argument in Favor

Don't let the war on marijuana interfere with choice in
cancer care.

As a medical oncologist (cancer specialist) who has treated many Oregonians over the years, I know chemotherapy is often difficult. Uncontrolled vomiting can prevent a person with cancer from completing the desired chemotherapy plan. I have seen marijuana (cannabis) work as medicine to control vomiting even when prescription medicine such as Compazine (prochlorperazine) or Zofran (ondansetron) failed. New research suggests that combining newer prescription anti-vomiting drugs with marijuana works better than either medicine alone.

Pain management, an important issue in managing cancer, can be complex because no medicine is 100% effective for every patient and adverse effects from medicines are common. Marijuana has pain-relieving potency similar to prescription codeine. It is remarkable that some persons who do not tolerate prescription pain medicines can use marijuana as medicine to achieve adequate pain relief. This gives patients and doctors another choice to manage pain.

The federal government should reschedule cannabis so that doctors can prescribe it. But, as the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) proved in 1998, it is possible to successfully create exceptions in state laws for persons with debilitating conditions when marijuana is medically supervised. And, these legal exceptions translate into improved pain and symptom management for thousands of Oregonians.

The original OMMA does not address where a cancer patient vomiting from chemotherapy or in severe pain might immediately obtain medical marijuana. Measure 33 allows for dispensaries, which act like cannabis pharmacies, allowing sick people immediate access to cannabis. This might make a difference between success and failure of medical treatment so I urge to you please vote Yes on Measure 33.

Nancy Crumpacker, MD
Board Certified, Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine
Portland, Oregon

(This information furnished by Nancy Crumpacker, MD.)


Argument in Favor

Patients with cancer deserve safe access to safe effective medicine.

I am a cancer survivor. I had an operation in which doctors removed all or part of five organs and two-third of my stomach. During six months of chemotherapy, I found out if I used medical marijuana, I needed only one-third of the prescribed dose of pain medicine.

I am now a cardholder under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA). Unfortunately, I can't get a steady supply of medical marijuana because I am too sick to grow it. I have neither a safe location nor or the considerable financial investment it takes to grow indoor marijuana. Plus, I am too poor to go to the black market.

In 1998, Oregonians passed the OMMA. We led the nation by having a cardholder registration system that works for law enforcement, the Oregon Department of Human Services, the medical community, and patients. However, the OMMA didn't create a supply of medicine. And the plant and weight limits are unrealistic. Imagine if aspirin were just made legal, but the law said I could only possess 7 tablets, and that I couldn't buy it, I had to make it.

Measure 33 will regulate medical marijuana and fix the OMMA.

Yes on 33 is a smart, right and compassionate vote. Please join me and support other cancer survivors by voting Yes on Measure 33!

Christopher Campbell, cancer survivor

(This information furnished by Christopher Campbell.)


Argument in Favor

Law Enforcement Support for Measure 33

Measure 33 is a win-win situation for all Oregonians as either taxpayers or medical marijuana patients. In addition to the debilitating medical conditions now covered by the law, Measure 33 will allow attending physicians to determine which additional medical problems will qualify as "debilitating conditions".

The benefit to taxpayer, who now foots the bill for the Oregon Health Plan, will be reduced prescription drug costs. Instead of having to pay for expensive painkillers like Oxycodone and Vicodin, patients can grow inexpensive medical marijuana.

The current law is of no benefit to the patient diagnosed with cancer who starts chemotherapy next week but must grow a garden that can take many months. Measure 33 will provide non-profit dispensaries that will sell medicine to registered cardholders at low cost. Indigent patients will receive medicine at no cost because dispensaries must provide for free 20 percent of the dollar amount sold to registered cardholders.

Measure 33 will require Law Enforcement to check to first see if an address is registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) before serving a search warrant for marijuana. This will contribute to the safety of officers as well as save a lot of valuable law enforcement resources. Measure 33 will help the criminal justice system by focusing resources on serious crimes instead of patients trying to acquire their medical marijuana.

In addition, registered OMMP patients cannot be discriminated against or terminated from employment simply for registering with OMMP.

Measure 33 is not "legalization in disguise". Only patients who have been qualified by an attending physician can register as a patient.

If you or a loved one were sick, wouldn't you want safe reliable access to a medicine that helps? Medical marijuana should be available through a safe regulated system. Compassionate care and available medicine is what Oregon is all about. Please vote Yes on Measure 33.

Don DuPay
Former Portland Police Detective

(This information furnished by Don DuPay.)


Argument in Favor

Why does Measure 33 increase possession limits on medicine?

Because patients need enough medicine to relieve suffering!

Current limits on possession of medical marijuana and plants are so restrictive that virtually every qualified Oregon patient goes without medicine at some point. A law that forces patients to run out of medicine needs an amendment like Measure 33.

Measure 33 sets reasonable limits: 10 plants and 1 pound of medical marijuana.

The current law only allows patients to possess one ounce away from the garden and once ounce per mature plant at the garden. This cumbersome definition means a patient can only possess three ounces at home and one ounce when traveling.

Patients use a dosage range of medical marijuana between two grams and two ounces per week. One pound or sixteen ounces of medical marijuana is a reasonable limit to prevent legitimate patients from arrest when growing medicine indoors under artificial lights that allow multiple harvests per year.

The six-pound exemption Measure 33 creates would be for patients who harvest only one crop per year, as a more economical outdoor garden might. These patients must possess the entire twelve-month supply of medicine at the annual harvest and provide additional registration information to the Oregon Department of Human Services.

The federal government provides six pounds or more of medical marijuana each year to select patients. Unfortunately, the federal government closed this "Investigational New Drug (IND) Program for marijuana" to any new patients over ten years ago so only a few remaining patients survive. But, the ongoing federal IND program still provides the best information on yearly quantities of medical marijuana patients often need.

Measure 33 is not legalization. After measure 33, it will still be a class A felony to sell marijuana to anyone who is not a registered medical marijuana patient.

Measure 33 creates regulated dispensaries that will act like pharmacies and decrease patients' need to possess more than small quantities of medicine.

(This information furnished by John Sajo, A Life with Dignity Committee.)


Argument in Favor

OREGON LAWYERS SUPPORT MEASURE 33

We are Oregon Lawyers who have defended individual medical marijuana patients and their caregivers who have been accused of wrongdoing by the government both prior to, and since passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) in 1998. The OMMA was passed in an effort to protect legitimate patients who use medical marijuana to treat debilitating medical conditions from arrest, prosecution and forfeiture. The amendments to the OMMA proposed in this initiative are intended to further refine and clarify the rules regarding the use of medical marijuana by fostering positive doctor-patient relationships, reducing the likelihood that a person with a debilitating medical condition will be prosecuted for the legitimate use of medical marijuana, developing a state licensing system for the regular and legal dispensing of medical marijuana to patients and appointing an oversight commission with the authority to regularly review the impacts of the OMMA and make recommen- dations to the legislature if, and when, changes need to be made to the OMMA.

Therefore we urge you to vote YES ON MEASURE 33 and keep the issue of medical marijuana in the doctor's office and out of the courtroom.

Leland R. Berger, Portland
David T. McDonald, Portland
Claudia Browne, Grants Pass
Brian Michaels, Eugene
Richard A. Cremer, Roseburg
John W. Neidig, Attorney at Law, Portland
John Henry Hingson III, Oregon City
Michael E. Rose, Portland
Shaun S. McCrea, Eugene
Phil Studenberg, Attorney at Law, Klamath Falls

(This information furnished by Leland R. Berger.)


Argument in Favor

It's time to stop arresting and prosecuting patients.

In 1998, Oregonians passed the first Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, but legitimate patients are still being arrested and prosecuted for trying to grow their own medical marijuana. This creates enormous emotional and physical stress, especially to those already ill. Measure 33 will fix problems with the current law that are causing these unnecessary arrests of patients.

On September 12, 2003, a Washington County jury found Scott Gregorson "not guilty." He had been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance (a felony) after police found three small marijuana plants and eight scrawny, almost dead, cuttings (including one that turned out to be a shallot) in his home during a September 2001 raid. The law currently allows a patient to have only seven plants.

The whole investigation should have been stopped, but the Department of Human Services, Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) made a mistake. When police called to verify that Mr. Gregorson was a patient, the OMMP failed to correctly verify he was a registered medical marijuana patient.

After a three-day trial (where taxpayers paid for the judge, the prosecutor, the police witnesses, the expert defense witness, the court employees, etc.), the jury concluded that the scrawny cuttings were not plants.

When Measure 33 becomes law, patients like Scott Gregorson will not have to try growing medical marijuana at home. He and thousands of other patients who do not have a green thumb will be able to go buy their medicine at state-regulated dispensaries that will operate as pharmacies for medical marijuana. Taxpayers will save the expense of arresting and prosecuting patients. A yes vote on Measure 33 will save taxpayers money.

Measure 33 creates a state-regulated supply of medical marijuana, which will increase patient access to medicine. Please vote Yes on Measure 33.

John Sajo
Chief-Petitioner, Measure 33
Dillard, Oregon

(This information furnished by John Sajo, A Life with Dignity Committee.)