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Marijuana Dispensaries Measure Advances In Oregon Legislature

Wikimedia Commons

Oregon medical marijuana patients could soon have an easier time getting hold of the drug. The Oregon House Monday narrowly passed a measure that would authorize a system of storefront dispensaries.

More than 53,000 people hold medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Under current state law, they either have to grow their own or find a buddy to grow it for them. This measure would allow growers to sell their goods through authorized dispensaries.

Not everyone's happy with the proposal. Opponents said the measure would further open up Oregon's medical marijuana program to black market trafficking. They also said many registered users aren't actually in need of the drug.

Supporters including Democratic representative Peter Buckley acknowledged the medical marijuana program has its flaws. But he said, "This bill focuses on one thing: Safe access to medical marijuana for people who are legally qualified to access medical marijuana."

Many such marijuana shops already exist under the radar in Oregon, though some have been closed by state law enforcement. The measure now heads to the Oregon Senate.

Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana use last year. The state is still working out the details of how to fully regulate the drug.

On the Web:

HB 3460: Medical marijuana facilities - Oregon Legislature 
Oregon Medical Marijuana Program - Oregon Health Authority