04-19-2018  2:21 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

PCRI Launches the Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan

Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

AG Rosenblum Launches New Resource on Oregon’s New Gun Safety Laws

One-page handout aims to educate Oregonians about the new law ...

Ethos Music Center Honors Portland Attorney Dave Baca with Annual Resonance Award

Founder Charles Lewis to receive first-ever Ethos Visionary Award at the May 2 event ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

Civil Rights Community Doesn’t Need to Look Farr for Racism in Trump Court Nominees

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, explains organization's opposition to Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr ...

Oppose the Confirmation of John Nalbandian to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to the Senate urging opposition to the confirmation of John...

The HBCU Community Needs Bipartisan Support

Dr. Harry L. Williams on why engagement with Republicans and the Trump Administration is working for the HBCU community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

cannabis plant
Jonathan Cooper

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state Senate voted Wednesday to impose stricter regulations on Oregon's medical marijuana program as lawmakers get ready for the legalization of pot for recreational use.

Senators overwhelmingly supported the measure 29-1, but now it goes the House, where it's viewed with much more skepticism from key lawmakers who staunchly oppose a provision allowing cities and counties to ban marijuana stores in their boundaries.

Supporters of the bill say Oregon's minimally regulated medical marijuana program produces far too much of the drug, and much of the excess ends up on the black market. They say reining it in is crucial to creating a market for retail marijuana.

"Right now, under this regressive federal system where it's illegal to transport it across state lines, we're sitting on this huge supply of medical marijuana," said Rep. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat who was instrumental in crafting the bill. "The stuff that's now going to the black market, let's get that funneled to the recreational market."

The bill would impose new regulations, including limits on the number of plants at a single grow site, an inventory tracking and reporting system, inspection requirements and an Oregon residency mandate for growers and patients. Those provisions are broadly supported.

The controversy arises from an option for local governments to refuse permission for marijuana businesses to operate, including stores, testing or processing facilities, and grow sites. Democrats, particularly those in the House, fear the provision would make it too difficult for patients to get the drug.

"I don't think at this point we should deny patients access to medicine," said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, the lone dissenter in the Senate.

In the House, the measure will go to the Ways and Means Committee, led by co-chair Peter Buckley, an Ashland Democrat who has been among the most vocal critics of the local opt-out in the Senate bill. Still, Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, does not want to see the bill die.

"The speaker believes regulations to the medical marijuana program are necessary in order for the successful implementation of Measure 91, and she supports the ongoing effort to address both issues this session," said Lindsey O'Brien, a spokeswoman for Kotek. Measure 91 was last year's ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana.

 

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