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Oregon Medical Marijuana

Ballot Measure 67 -- Approved by 55% of voters on Nov. 3, 1998
Effective: Dec. 3, 1998

Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana "may mitigate" his or her debilitating symptoms.

Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, or treatment for these conditions; A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including seizures caused by epilepsy, or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources.

Possession/Cultivation: A registry identification cardholder or the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may possess up to six mature marijuana plants and 24 ounces of usable marijuana. A registry identification cardholder and the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may possess a combined total of up to 18 marijuana seedlings. (per Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 475.300 -- ORS 475.346)

Amended: Senate Bill 1085
Effective: Jan. 1, 2006

State-qualified patients who possess cannabis in amounts exceeding the new state guidelines will no longer retain the ability to argue an "affirmative defense" of medical necessity at trial. Patients who fail to register with the state, but who possess medical cannabis in amounts compliant with state law, still retain the ability to raise an "affirmative defense" at trial.

The law also redefines "mature plants" to include only those cannabis plants that are more than 12 inches in height and diameter, and establish a state-registry for those authorized to produce medical cannabis to qualified patients.

Amended: House Bill 3052
Effective: July 21, 1999

Mandates that patients (or their caregivers) may only cultivate marijuana in one location, and requires that patients must be diagnosed by their physicians at least 12 months prior to an arrest in order to present an "affirmative defense." This bill also states that law enforcement officials who seize marijuana from a patient pending trial do not have to keep those plants alive. Last year the Oregon Board of Health approved agitation due to Alzheimer’s disease to the list of debilitating conditions qualifying for legal protection.

In August 2001, program administrators filed established temporary procedures further defining the relationship between physicians and patients. The new rule defines attending physician as "a physician who has established a physician/patient relationship with the patient; [...] is primarily responsible for the care and treatment of the patients; [...] has reviewed a patient’s medical records at the patient’s request, has conducted a thorough physical examination of the patient, has provided a treatment plan and/or follow-up care, and has documented these activities in a patient file."

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