05-08-2021  12:13 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Extends COVID Workplace Mask Rule Indefinitely

State officials say the rule, which garnered thousands of public comments, will be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

As Reparations Hit Roadblock, Oregon Lawmakers Look to U.S. Congress and Cities

Sen. Frederick pushed for eligible Black Oregonians to receive a lifetime annuity as remedy for slavery, systemic racism.

Landmark Gun Safety Bill Clears Final Vote

The Oregon Senate repassed Senate Bill 554 – approving modifications made in the House to add storage and safety requirements among the bill’s components.

Shooting Highlights Lack of Body Cams Among Portland Police

Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out.

NEWS BRIEFS

Street Gallery: Crossing the Redline

Street Gallery, invites the public to an intergenerational art exhibit: “Crossing the Redline” ...

Unemployment Fix Passes Oregon Senate, Helps Get More Oregonians Back to Work

Many Oregon employers believe this policy will help support their rapidly changing workforce needs, COVID-19 regulations, and worker...

Concrete Wall Around Seattle Police Precinct Comes Down

The city decided to take the wall down after hearing from the community ...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills, Halts Sales, After a Child Dies

Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills less than a month after denying they were dangerous and saying it would not pull...

Free Online Classes Promote Sustainable Living

Clark County’s Master Composter Recycler program is offering a series of free sustainable living webinars this spring. ...

Judge nixes reduced Klamath River flows for sucker fish

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled against the Klamath Tribes in a lawsuit that accuses federal regulators of violating the Endangered Species Act by letting water levels fall too low for sucker fish to spawn in a lake that also feeds an elaborate irrigation system along the...

Portland: Feds to blame for cops failure in settlement deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland city officials said they welcome constructive criticism from federal Justice Department lawyers who found the Police Bureau has failed to adhere to a settlement governing officers’ use of force. But officials also blame the federal government for contributing to...

OPINION

OP-ED: The Supreme Court Can Protect Black Lives by Ending Qualified Immunity

The three officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor are not the first to walk free after killing an unarmed Black person, and unfortunately, especially if things continue as they are, they will not be the last. ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In the French language, steps forward and back for women

LE PECQ, France (AP) — The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week. Warning that the well-being of France and its future are at stake, the government banned the use in schools of a method increasingly used by some French...

Rachel Zoll, much-admired AP religion writer, dead at 55

Rachel Zoll, who for 17 years as religion writer for The Associated Press endeared herself to colleagues, competitors and sources with her warm heart and world-class reporting skills, died Friday in Amherst, Massachusetts, after a three-year bout with brain cancer. She was 55. ...

Man charged in stabbings of 2 Asian women a no-show in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The arraignment of a man who allegedly stabbed two older women without warning at a San Francisco bus stop was postponed Friday after he refused to leave his jail cell and appear in court. Patrick Thompson's arraignment on charges of attempted murder,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jhené Aiko, Saweetie to perform on AAPI advocacy TV special

NEW YORK (AP) — Platinum-selling performers of part-Asian descent, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper Saweetie, will perform on a TV special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy. TAAF announced...

In the shadow of COVID-19, a toll on entertainment workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many, the pandemic upended life for actor and dancer Rena Riffel. The Los Angeles-based performer needed help with rent, utilities and counselling when jobs suddenly dried up. “Being an artist, we are already very fragile with our finances," she...

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in 'Water Man'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While starring in films like “Selma” and “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” actor David Oyelowo discovered a new passion: directing. Oyelowo was inspired to step behind-the-camera after learning different nuances of the craft from respected directors like...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sherpa guide scales Mount Everest for record 25th time

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time on Friday, breaking his own record...

Last wild macaw in Rio is lonely and looking for love

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Some have claimed she’s indulging a forbidden romance. More likely, loneliness compels...

Texas GOP's voting restriction bill passes House

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has become the latest Republican-dominated state to advance sweeping new limits on...

Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch blasts Tigray 'genocide'

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in his first public comments on the war in the...

Ahead of Harris meeting, Mexico president accuses US

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Just before an online meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Friday, Mexico President...

Deadly police shootout prompts claims of abuse in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A bloody, hour-long gunbattle in a Rio de Janeiro slum echoed into Friday, with...

Brad Cain Associated Press Writer

SALEM, Oregon (AP) -- The Obama administration decision not to interfere in state medical marijuana laws has emboldened a citizen initiative to get the state of Oregon involved in providing the drug for residents who have permission to use it.
Medical marijuana advocates are seeking to put on the November ballot a measure to create a system in which state-licensed pot growers would distribute their crops to dispensaries where people could buy the drug to treat their ailments.
Currently, those people either have an approved provider grow it for them or grow it themselves.
On Monday, backers of the initiative turned in 61,000 petition signatures in hopes of qualifying the issue for the ballot. A total of 82,769 valid signatures are needed to qualify the measure, and backers have until July to collect up the remainder.
Oregon is one of 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana. On Monday, the New Jersey Legislature approved a bill that would make it the 14th state to allow chronically ill patients access to marijuana for medical reasons, and Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who supports the legislation, could sign it before leaving office next week, making it law.
Of the 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana, five of them -- including California -- make provision for dispensaries where patients can get the pot.
Because of earlier concerns about possible federal intervention, there had been no serious movement in Oregon to join the medical marijuana states with dispensaries.


LINKED STORIES

Medical Marijuana 6-5-10
Cannabis Caravan 6-6-10

Marinol a Defense 4-17-10

Cannabis Tax Act 4-7-10
 
Pot Dispensaries 1-13-10

Pot Café 11-24-09

The Key to Our Budget 9-28-09

Confusion in Washington 9-21-09

Could Yield Billions 7-9-09

But things changed last October, when the Obama administration announced it would not go after people in states who use medical marijuana legally.
"It was a watershed event. It's really the thing that has made this ballot initiative viable," said John Sajo, executive director of the Voter Power Foundation, which is backing the measure and which helped draft Oregon's 1998 law.
Keith Stroup, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Washington, said that the Obama administration's stance will prompt other states to also consider marijuana dispensaries.
"Within a very few years, any state that has legal medical marijuana will certainly have a legal supply. They will all allow some kind of regulated dispensary," said Stroup, who founded NORML and is the group's legal counsel.
Oregon law allows registered patients to grow up to six mature marijuana plants or designate a grower to do it for them. But many patients don't want to do either.
"People should have a safe place to obtain cannabis. We should treat it like any other medication," said Alice Ivany, a Newport woman who uses marijuana to alleviate pain she's suffered since losing her lower left arm in a timber mill accident years ago.
Ivany is one of the co-sponsors of the proposed initiative that would require the state Health Division to license, inspect and audit growers and dispensaries. It also would create a program, administered by the state, to provide medical marijuana to indigent patients.
The program would be funded by license fees and taxes on growers and dispensaries.
Oregon's current medical marijuana program was enacted by voters in 1998, who approved an initiative measure setting it up by a 55-45 percent margin.
As of Jan. 1, 26,274 patients were registered with the state to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, with 5,836 more applications pending final approval. People with pending applications are allowed under state law to use medical marijuana.
It's been estimated that there are about 15,000 medical marijuana grow sites in Oregon, operated either by the user or an approved grower.
Any proposed expansion of Oregon's program is being opposed by some law enforcement officials. They cite a spike in the number of pot busts involving growers who have received state permission to cultivate a small amount of marijuana for medical use but who grow more than the law allows and sell it illegally on the street.
Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo said the proposed law would only make matters worse and that he thinks the best move would be to repeal the medical marijuana program altogether.
He said that with the expansion of the medical pot program, "you're taking a stop closer to legalizing marijuana use by anybody who wants to use it."
But Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said the proposed expansion would be a step in the right direction.
"If, in fact, it is a needed drug, and it is providing a benefit to somebody who is ill, I frankly think it should be purchased by prescription at a pharmacy and produced by a commercial operation that is monitored, that is secured, and the quality, content and safety issues are addressed, just like any controlled substance that is prescribed," he said.
Sajo argues that Oregon's law needs to be updated so that all qualifying patients have convenient access to quality marijuana.
"Medical marijuana is here to stay," he said. "It's time for policy makers to figure out how to make it work effectively."

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Kevin Saddler