( 4UMF NEWS ) Marijuana Shops Open For Business in Oregon:
The Oregon dispensaries bill allows locations to legally provide medical marijuana, with the state having the authority to licence, inspect, and audit the stores.
There are already a number of marijuana dispensaries operating in Oregon, but they existed in what has been referred to as a “legal gray area.” Several of these have already been shut down.
Critics had said the bill could lead to abuses of the medical marijuana, and called on Governor Kitzhaber to veto it. But the governor noted that the bill designates the Oregon Health Authority to oversee dispensaries and prevent abuse.
The bill legalizing Oregon dispensaries is part of a trend against restrictions of marijuana. This month Illinois became the 20th state to legalize marijuana, with the state House voting to permit a four-year pilot program allowing for medical marijuana.
The program in Illinois comes with many restrictions. Medical marijuana can only be grown at one of 22 centers under constant surveillance, and distribution is restricted to 60 state-run locations.
The drug must also be prescribed by a doctor to meet one of the 30 serious medical conditions that qualify, and doctors can’t prescribe marijuana to a new patient. Returning patients are restricted to 2.5 ounces per week, and all patients must go through fingerprinting and a background check.
New Hampshire’s governor signed legislation the same week legalizing medical marijuana. Outside the United States, Uruguay’s lower house of congress voted to legalize the sale and growth of marijuana. Usage has been legal there for more than a decade.
Backers of the Oregon dispensaries bill are now calling on the state to implement the bill responsibly to ensure that patients have safe access to medical marijuana.
- State Legalizes Marijuana Dispensaries (huffingtonpost.com)
- Gov. John Kitzhaber signs medical marijuana bill into law (oregonlive.com)
- Oregon Legalizes Marijuana Dispensaries – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)