Citizens' Initiative Review of Ballot Measure 74 is now complete.
Upon reviewing Measure 74 over five days, a panel of 24 randomly selected, demographically balanced voters drafted their Citizen Statement for the statewide Voters' Pamphlet. Here are the results.
The panel heard from advocates for and against Measure 74, called upon background witnesses and policy experts, and deliberated based upon their findings. Upon concluding their review of the information presented, the panel voted 13 to 11 to support Measure 74. The following information from the panel's Citizen Statement on Measure 74, describing their key findings and conclusions, will be included in the statewide Voters' Pamphlet.
Citizen Statement of a Majority of the Panel:
Key Findings The following are statements about the measure and the number of panelists who agree with each statement
· The language of the measure lacks clarity on regulation, operation, and enforcement. (23 agree)
· Medical marijuana provides recognized benefits for many serious conditions, some of which may not respond to other treatments. (21 agree)
· Dispensaries are non-profit entities licensed to possess, produce, sell, transport, and supply medical marijuana to cardholders and other dispensaries. (23 agree)
· Oregon Health Authority, with input from an advisory committee and public hearings, shall develop administrative rules. (21 agree)
· The program is financially self-sustaining and may provide funds for research. (22 agree)
· The measure shall provide an assistance program for low income cardholding patients to obtain medical marijuana. (21 agree)
Citizen Statement in Favor of the Measure:
POSITION TAKEN BY 13 OF 24 PANELISTS
We, 13 members of the Citizens’ Initiative Review, support Ballot Measure 74 for the following reasons:
· Implements a dispensary system for patients to acquire medical marijuana in a timely manner
· Provides improved access to safe, alternative treatment of serious medical conditions while reducing harmful side effects and addiction from opiates
· Generates jobs for residents providing a boost to Oregon’s economy
· Self-sustaining program with potential to increase state revenue without imposing new taxes
· Introduces additional regulations and control to an existing program previously approved by Oregon voters
· Statewide public hearings allow for actual voter input in the rule making process
Summary: Measure 74 creates a safe, compassionate and prompt access program for Oregon medical marijuana patients, introduces regulation, and is financially sound.
Citizen Statement Opposed to the Measure:
POSITION TAKEN BY 11 OF 24 PANELISTS
We, 11 members of the Citizens’ Initiative Review, oppose Ballot Measure 74 for the following reasons:
· Proponents are saying “trust us” before rules are made.
· Oregonians will not have a vote on such critical details as: maximum number of dispensaries, purchase limit for individuals in a given time period, penalties for infractions, and statewide recordkeeping for cardholders.
· Convicted felons can become dispensary directors or employees five years after conviction.
· Dispensary directors and their employees are exempt from prosecution for marijuana related activities when in “substantial compliance.”
· “Substantial compliance” is not defined or enforceable according to district attorneys and law enforcement.
· Availability of marijuana will increase, inviting illegal activity.
Summary: Measure 74, a thinly veiled attempt to legalize marijuana, has a high probability of being abused!
Shared Agreement Statement
Public policy impacts all citizens—we have had the opportunity to closely review material not readily available to voters—and have tried to examine both sides of this measure in an unbiased manner.