In 1998 Oregon became one of the first states in the nation to legalize marijuana for patients doctors have determined to suffer from chronic pain. The law was called the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) and made it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients with glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, Aids, and any other condition that causes chronic pain or muscle spasms.
The new law provided relief for thousands of patients across the state that finally had a natural alternative to addictive opiate painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin to treat their pain with. The problem though is that the law never provided an easy means for marijuana patients to obtain their medicine.
OMMA allowed for patients to obtain a caregiver who would be responsible for growing the marijuana for them. The problem is that it is very costly and time intensive to grow marijuana so it is difficult to find a caregiver willing to grow for nothing in return. Many patients desperate for medical marijuana have been left unable to obtain their medicine as a result.
It requires a lot of physical work in setting up an indoor garden and maintaining it in order to grow your own marijuana. Sadly, the patients who need medical marijuana the most are the ones who are least likely able to grow their own due to their weakened physical state. Thus, the need for marijuana dispensaries has become clearer than ever.
To address this problem, the “Voter Power” organization has started the process of getting an initiative on the ballot, I-28, which will legalize the formation of regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries will be able to sell patients of the OMMA program marijuana legally to be used for medicinal purposes. Most likely many of these dispensaries would open in Portland, the state’s largest city.
These Portland marijuana dispensaries will buy marijuana from care providers who are licensed by Oregon to grow medicinal pot. Dispensaries will then sell the medicinal marijuana to OMMA patients who will be required to show their medical marijuana card beforehand. Both buyers and sellers will be regulated by the state and all transactions will be taxed.
Portland marijuana dispensaries will be a significant source of tax revenue for the state of Oregon but most importantly will provide legal, natural medicine to people who need it very badly.