Special Senate Committee to Manage Oregon Medical Marijuana Issue

After the Oregon Legislature’s new marijuana committee hit an impasse Monday night, Oregon Senate president Peter Courtney formed a special Senate committee designed to help move beyond the issue.

Although the committee had mostly reached a consensus on SB 844, which aims to prevent the diversion of medical marijuana to black markets, the committee failed to decide whether to allow local communities to block the creation of medical marijuana facilities.

The special Senate committee is charged with bringing a consensus on the issue. Sen. Ginny Burdick (D.-Portland), the chair of the committee, believes she can achieve a bitpartisan majority in the Senate, which would help to sway the House. Burdick supports allowing localities to ban medical marijuana facilities. Voters could then put the issue on the ballot by gaining 4% of the vote in the last governor’s race.

A majority of the House currently wants any ban on such facilities to go directly to a people’s vote, so that medical marijuana patients won’t be immediately forced to lose access to the drug.




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