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Federal Law Prevails Over State Law

City and County officials are deciding on whether to implement a moratorium for allowing marijuana stores in our area.  A moratorium would allow officials to watch and learn from others and prevent wasting time and money from a hasty decision that needs to be “undone.”

1.   Most counties, including Lake County voted “No” on the 1998 Oregon Medical Marijuana (OMMP) initiative.  The initiative passed due to support from metropolitan areas.  An OMMP card holder can grow six mature marijuana plants (a plant can grow 6 feet tall), 18 seedlings and possess 24 ounces of marijuana.

2.  Lake County has 105 OMMP card holders. This is only 1.3 percent of our population.   Is it cost-effective to pass and enforce a law that effects 1.3 percent with California 14 miles away?

3.  65.6 percent of Lake County voted “No” in 2012 on Measure 80, which would allow personal marijuana use without a license/card.

A dispensary would encourage marijuana smokers to locate here.  More marijuana would be available to our community.  Those under the influence create workplace hazards, are often unemployable (major employers perform drug testing) and increase risk of car accidents related to “drugged driving.”

A recent study found that the average “patient” was a 32 year old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of a life threatening disease.  Less than four percent of OMMP card holders have cancer and 91 percent smoke marijuana to treat chronic or severe pain.  There are many legal medications for pain and FDA approved marijuana capsules are available by prescription.  Most prescribers in Oregon choose not to order smoking marijuana for patients because of the potential for abuse.

While Oregon voted to allow OMMP card holders to possess marijuana, possession still violates federal law which prevails over state law.  Please contact our elected officials so that they make the correct decision for the good of the majority in our community.

 Teresa Barry Decker,



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