By Dylan Coleman
As the upcoming elections approach residents throughout Eugene brace for some minor changes.
On the ballot is measure 74; which would establish a Medical Marijuana supply system throughout the state of Oregon. The measure would also establish research programs, grants limited regulation by state authorities and would allow for regulated marijuana sales in the state.
The current system in Oregon allows for specified patients to become registered medical marijuana growers but limits the amount of plants one person may possess. It also allows individuals to act as care takers for people who can’t grow their own marijuana but does not allow for easy access to those who can’t grow or find a care taker.
In the past five years we have seen several states from California, to Vermont to Rhode Island enact medical marijuana laws. The state of Oregon has estimated that the state expenditures would be from $400,000-600,000 each year beginning in 2014 according to the Coalition for Patients Rights.
Adam Hoefler, a University of Oregon student said, he’s not sure if he’s for it or against the measure. Hoefler also said that “The only reason the government doesn’t want to do it because they can’t make money on it, but if it were properly regulated than it wouldn’t be a bad thing by any means.”
The state of Oregon does plan on using the medical marijuana measure to help bring in revenue. It is estimated that within the first year of the program that it could bring in a minimum of $400,000 to a maximum of 20 million in the first year. This of course depends on how many dispensaries, the number of participants and the pricing and cost of the production of the marijuana.
Oregon first passed its medical marijuana law with measure 67 in 1998 which removed state-level criminal penalties for those who have proper documentation from a physician saying that the use would help his or her symptoms.
The measure has always had a strong support in Oregon, but the recent push from the opposition has made it unclear if this will pass or not. Anthony Collins said, “with college kids all around us that a measure like this won’t hurt our economy.”
So where do you stand on this measure? Should Oregon allow medical marijuana dispensaries to pop up in a neighborhood near you?