February 17, 2018

Alex Rogers, Author at MARIJUANA POLITICS - Page 2 of 2

Alex Rogers

Alex Rogers is co-owner of Marijuana Politics. He is an experienced cannabis law reform advocate, getting his start in the 1990s under the tutelage of legendary activist Jack Herer. Alex is also CEO of Ashland Alternative Health, and Northwest Alternative Health, medical cannabis clinics that help register patients with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Additionally, Alex is the executive producer of industry business conferences that work to further professionalize and mainstream the cannabis and hemp industries. He started the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference (OMMBC), the first medical marijuana business conference of its kind in Oregon. Following the success of the OMMBC, Rogers started organizing the first International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), a unique event bringing in activists and entrepreneurs with valuable experience from across the globe.

Oregon Patients Push Back on Senate Bill 844. ACTION STILL NEEDED!

Oregon marijuana

After learning about an amendment that includes harmful limits on patient gardens, to go along with intrusive home-inspections and burdensome record-keeping, the Oregon cannabis community made their voices heard, bombarding the Measure 91 Implementation Committee with phone calls and emails. These phone calls and emails have been working!

While we haven’t convinced legislators to strip out all of the bad provisions (yet), there have been a few positive changes, demonstrating that the politicians in Salem are hearing from patients and their advocates loud and clear. Thanks to us, patients who only grow for themselves won’t be subject to home inspections and medical marijuana growers will have to keep records for 2 years, instead of 7, but we aren’t done improving this bill as bad provisions still remain:

  • Starting on March 1, 2016, grow sites in residential areas will only be able to grow for 2 patients maximum (12 plants); non-residential locations will only be able to grow for 8 total (48 plants).
  • Growers will be subjected to a fee and inspections (even if growing in their home for just one other person, like their spouse)
  • Any violation of the rules allows OHA to contact law enforcement.

The harmful provisions could have passed this week, but they didn’t, thanks to concerned citizens contacting the Measure 91 Committee members. In fact, these harmful provisions WOULD have passed already, but we made our voices heard and forced a few positive changes already. But we aren’t done yet, and need to do all that we can to improve this bill, as it is scheduled for another vote on Monday, May 4th. We need to make legislators know that it is unacceptable for any patient to lose his or her garden. Sick and disabled patients don’t have the money to pay for industry lobbyists that are calling this a “good bill” and pushing for its passage. We have to make our voices heard on behalf of those that are often trampled in politics by money and special interests.

Please send emails to the Measure 91 Committee immediately and then follow up with phone calls on Thursday, Friday, (you can even leave messages over the weekend if you want, and on Monday by 4pm. Simply urge legislators to improve Senate Bill 844, so that the most vulnerable patients won’t be hurt by this bill.

IMPORTANT ACTION #1: Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state a specific change, please choose something below or create something similar:
“I am opposed to limits on patient gardens. Please push back these harmful provisions until July 1, 2017. Additionally, there is no need for inspections of any medical marijuana gardens or for Oregon Health Authority officials to contact law enforcement. Oregon voters have determined that treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, we don’t need to cause any more unnecessary arrests for marijuana.”

 

“While it isn’t your intent, limiting patient gardens will cause some patients to lose their supply of medicine. While I would prefer that you don’t limit patient gardens, if that is inevitable, please delay the implementation of these limits. The prohibition on growing more than 96 plants can wait until July 1, 2017. Please let the Measure 91 system get implemented before making major changes to the medical program.”

 

“Allowing the OHA to call the police for potentially routine violations during inspections could deter many good growers from providing for patients. Please remove the inspection of all medical gardens and the ability of OHA to notify law enforcement. Also, the reduction on patient gardens will inevitably hurt some patients and reduce the ability of good growers of providing for patients that have lost their grower. Please don’t lower patient gardens to under 4 in residential areas and 16 in non-residential. These limits of just 24 and 96 plants shouldn’t go into effect until after the 2017 legislative session, so we can have time to see the Measure 91 recreational market implemented at first.”

 

 

IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls Friday and then it is imperative that you call on Monday again (starting in the morning until 4pm) and simply state what you emailed or you can choose a different policy change request.

Sen. Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1718
Rep. Peter Buckley: 503-986-1405
Sen. Floyd Prozanski: 503-986-1704
Rep. Ken Helm: 503-986-1434
Sen. Jeff Kruse: 503-986-1701
Sen. Ted Ferrioli: 503-986-1950
Sen. Lee Beyer: 503-986-1706
Rep. Ann Lininger: 503-986-1438
Rep. Carl Wilson: 503-986-1403
Rep. Andy Olson: 503-986-1415

Thank you for standing up for the OMMP and the most vulnerable sick and disabled patients,

Alex Rogers

Oregon Lawmakers Continue to Attack the OMMP

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) had been a great success that has helped thousands upon thousands of patients and generated millions of dollars for the state.  As a medical cannabis clinic owner, I have personally seen the medical program improve the lives of thousands of patients.

When the Oregon Measure 91 Implementation Committee put an amendment on the agenda that would decrease the number of patients’ gardens and place unnecessary burdens on growers, I helped lead the effort to stop the harmful amendment. Unfortunately, Oregon lawmakers continue to attack the OMMP as they can’t seem to be able to leave the program alone despite being bombarded by phone calls and emails from patients and concerned citizens.  The Oregonian reports:

Oregon legislators moved Monday toward putting new limits on medical marijuana growers as they shrugged off opposition from some activists who worried that they would lose access to low-cost supplies of the drug.

***

We are getting this bill out Wednesday,” vowed Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, the committee’s co-chair, as she and other members hastened to assure activists that they could still readily get medical marijuana.

(Emphasis mine.)

If there was ever a time to act up and make your voice heard, it is now. I’m urging patients and advocates to continue to contact lawmakers and stand up for the OMMP. Please send emails and make phone calls before Wednesday’s vote. If the legislator doesn’t respond, then follow up with another email. And then make a phone call. Too many of these legislators are unaware of the plight of sick and disabled patients, but we need to do our best to educate them and let them know that we care about patients and will continue to do all that we can to protect the OMMP.

CALL TO ACTION:

The Measure 91 Committee heard from hundreds of patients and advocates, but still seem adamant about passing The Dash 6 Amendments to Senate Bill 844.  Some of the more troubling provisions of the proposal:
  • Starting on March 1, 2016, grow sites in residential areas will only be able to grow for 2 patients maximum (12 plants); non-residential locations will only be able to grow for 8 total (48 plants).
  • Growers will be subjected to a fee and inspections (even for personal grows)
  • Growers will have to report monthly to the state and keep records up to 7 years.
  • Any violation of the rules allows OHA to contact law enforcement.

Please send emails to the Measure 91 Committee immediately and then follow up with phone calls on Tuesday or Wednesday and let them know that they should vote “NO” on the Senate Bill “Dash 6” amendments.

 

IMPORTANT ACTION #1Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state a specific change, please choose something below or create something similar:

 

“Please don’t limit patients grow sites. While some growers and patients will be grandfathered in, good growers won’t be able to pick up additional patients and some patients will lose their growers and their supply of medicine.”

 

“While I would prefer that you don’t limit patient gardens, if that is inevitable, please delay the implementation of these limits. The prohibition on growing more than 96 plants can wait until after the 2017 legislative session and 48 plants after the 2019 session. Please let the Measure 91 system get implemented before making major changes to the medical program.”

 

“Registration fees, monthly reporting and the requirement that growers keep records for 7 years will prove too burdensome for many growers who will stop growing for patients and could decide to turn to the black market.”

 

“While I would rather you vote NO on the Dash 6 Amendments, if it is going to pass, at least change Section 5(9) on page 22 that seems to allow the inspection of all grow sites, including home gardens that aren’t selling any marijuana.

 

“Please make sure that patients are able to be their own grower, regardless of how long they have lived in the state. Section 5(2)(a)(b) on page 20 seems to put into place a 4-year residency requirement for registered growers, even if they are a patient themselves.”

 

“Allowing the OHA to call the police for potentially routine violations during inspections could deter many growers from staying licensed. Please remove the inspection of medical gardens and the ability of OHA to notify law enforcement.”
IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls on Tuesday or Wednesday before 4pm and state what you emailed or you can pick a different policy change request.

Sen. Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1718
Rep. Peter Buckley: 503-986-1405
Sen. Floyd Prozanski: 503-986-1704
Rep. Ken Helm: 503-986-1434
Sen. Jeff Kruse: 503-986-1701
Sen. Ted Ferrioli: 503-986-1950
Sen. Lee Beyer: 503-986-1706
Rep. Ann Lininger: 503-986-1438
Rep. Carl Wilson: 503-986-1403
Rep. Andy Olson: 503-986-1415

Thank you so much for standing up for the OMMP and doing all that you can to protect patients’ medicine,

 

Alex Rogers

 

Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Under Attack

As a businessman myself, I usually don’t begrudge people for making a profit. But as an activist, brought up under the apprenticeship of cannabis icon Jack Herer, I have to speak my mind when money and profits are put ahead of the people, the voters and disabled patients; especially under the cover of darkness, in back-room deals without any public hearing. This is why I am asking Oregonians to contact the Oregon Measure 91 Implementation Committee and urge them to vote “NO” on the “Dash 6” Amendments to Senate Bill 844.

Senate Bill 844 started out as a simple two page bill that has allowed the Measure 91 Committee to consider “technical” fixes and clarifications sought by the OLCC when regulating Measure 91. However, amendments released on Friday afternoon, just before 5pm, would change the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act as we know it. This is an unprecedented maneuver by the legislative committee. This 89-page “amendment” is being sneaked in at the last minute in an apparent attempt to catch the Oregon cannabis community and everyone who cares about patients, off-guard. We cannot let this happen.

Amendments to a bill don’t have to undergo the same public hearing requirements that a stand-alone bill must hold; while this may make sense some of the time, it is an insult to patients and a mockery of our democratic process. These “Dash 6” amendments will decrease the number of patients that growers may provide for; institute fees on growers; allow for home inspections of even personal gardens; mandate extensive reporting and record-keeping; and allow OHA bureaucrats to call the police for any violation of the rules. Unfortunately, the “Dash 6” amendments will push growers into either the recreational system or onto the black market as many won’t want to jump through the hoops to continue growing for sick and disabled patients.

More than 40% of medical marijuana patients are on some type of low-income assistance program with the state, unable to purchase from dispensaries or on the black market. It is imperative that we stand up for sick and disabled patients as they can’t afford to hire high-priced lobbyists that protect various special interest groups. Despite the fact that I own medical marijuana clinics, I supported the Measure 91 legalization proposal that could decrease the number of patients, as many people might feel that they no longer need a medical card after legalization. Measure 91 was explicitly clear that it wasn’t intended to change the medical program, yet some legislators apparently are willing to go against the will of the voters.

I have no qualms about people making money selling recreational marijuana for a profit. But I draw the line on making making exorbitant profits on the back of sick and disabled patients, be it growers, retailers or the state. Let’s honor the will of the voters and protect patients’ access to medical cannabis.

IMPORTANT CALL TO ACTION:

The Measure 91 Committee is starting to consider amendments that will severely impact the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. These amendments are being attached to Senate Bill 844. While the amendment contains some beneficial provisions for the OMMA, it unnecessarily restricts patient grow sites and places too many barriers upon medical marijuana providers. Some of the more troubling provisions:

  • Starting on March 1, 2016, grow sites in residential areas will only be able to grow for 2 patients maximum (12 plants); non-residential locations will only be able to grow for 8 total (48 plants).
  • Growers will be subjected to a fee and inspections (even for personal grows)
  • Growers will have to report monthly to the state and keep records up to 7 years.
  • Any violation of the rules allows OHA to contact law enforcement.

Please send emails to the Measure 91 Committee immediately and then follow up with phone calls today, and let them know that they should vote “NO” on the Senate Bill “Dash 6” amendments. The 89 page “Dash 6” amendment was sneaked onto Monday’s agenda late Friday afternoon, amending a two page bill. There is a special rule that allows legislators to pass an amendment, even if it has nothing to do with the original bill, without holding a public hearing with public testimony. It is imperative that you act now to help protect Oregon’s patients and their safe access to medicine.

 

IMPORTANT ACTION #1Please email the Measure 91 Committee immediately and state: “Please vote ‘NO’ on the Senate Bill 844 “Dash 6″ Amendments because thousands of sick and disabled patients will lose safe access to medicine, hurting their quality of life. Limiting patient gardens and placing unnecessary rules, inspections, fees and reporting requirements on growers will force many out of the medical system and potentially into the black market.”  

 

 

IMPORTANT ACTION #2: Make calls on Monday, April 27, before 4pm and state what you emailed: “Please vote ‘NO’ on the Senate Bill 844 “Dash 6″ Amendments because thousands of sick and disabled patients will lose safe access to medicine, hurting their quality of life. Limiting patient gardens and placing unnecessary rules, inspections, fees and reporting requirements on growers will force many out of the medical system and potentially into the black market.”

 

Sen. Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1718
Rep. Peter Buckley: 503-986-1405
Sen. Floyd Prozanski: 503-986-1704
Rep. Ken Helm: 503-986-1434
Sen. Jeff Kruse: 503-986-1701
Sen. Ted Ferrioli: 503-986-1950
Sen. Lee Beyer: 503-986-1706
Rep. Ann Lininger: 503-986-1438
Rep. Carl Wilson: 503-986-1403
Rep. Andy Olson: 503-986-1415

Thank you so much for standing up for the OMMA and patients’ access to medicine,

 

Alex Rogers