Oregon’s transition from medical to recreational marijuana

Rep Mike Nearman_thb

by Rep. Mike Nearman

How’s that going to work out for us?

It’s been 16 years since Oregonians passed Measure 67 and legalized medical marijuana. How’s that working out for us? I don’t dispute that marijuana may possibly have some value in medicine, but I’m skeptical of most medical marijuana usage because most of the medical community and the regulatory structure hasn’t come forward to push for its acceptance as medicine.

As of October of this year, there were nearly 70,000 medical marijuana card holders in the state of Oregon, a little less than 2% of the residents of the state. That makes me skeptical, too. Isn’t it amazing how a recreational drug can become so medically effective? That’s one out of every 50 people who has a card. There are 213 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon which means that they have an average of about 330 customers each. Can they operate profitably with so few customers? Maybe they have side businesses.

I remember the arguments we were told. That grandma is dying of cancer, and she can’t swallow and so she can’t take a pain pill and, besides, she only has six months to live. I guess I wouldn’t argue with grandma, but I don’t think that many of the cardholders fit that description. Over 93% of cardholders list severe pain as a qualifying medical condition. I wonder how many can swallow?

We were told that marijuana is not addictive. We just saw two Oregon Ducks football players blow (no pun intended) a trip to the college national championship game for testing positive for marijuana. These are guys with multi-million dollar professional careers in their future, if they can just put down the bong for another couple of weekends. It happens to pro players, too. If marijuana is not addictive, then these guys are a whole new class of stupid.

My libertarian friends still bemoan the war on drugs, but I see more overt drug usage than war. In a very theoretical sense, I’m inclined to agree with them — that anyone ought to be able to do whatever they want, as long as they accept the consequences. However, practically speaking, our welfare state is far from requiring people to be responsible for their self-inflicted outcomes.

A medical marijuana card costs $200. You get a $60 discount if you are on food stamps (SNAP) and a $50 break if you are eligible for the Oregon Health Plan. That doesn’t make me feel any better.

Since we’ve pretty much outlawed cigarette smoking in just about every place within the orbit of the planet Jupiter, it’s hard to see how anyone is ever going to be able smoke a bowl – medical or recreational — even if it is legal. We’ve gotten almost to the point where the smoke is more illegal than the drug. We have the lowest workforce participation rate since they began keeping such statistics and we’ve just legalized the recreational use of a drug notorious for making its users lazy.

I can’t wait to see how that’s going to work out for us.

State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) didn’t inhale. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Posted by at 07:30 | Posted in Marijuana, Oregon Government | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Stoner Joe

    It is working for me. I need dope to deal with the stress of each day. I used to break the law to get it. Now I can openly get stoned every day and no one can do anything about it, like put me in prison. Finally, I am FREE! Plus, remember this, booze is far worse and really not a good thing. With dope in my system I am much happier and more content with my station in life and less likely to bother anyone else. Except maybe for a snack….

    • FoulWeddings Anna Perfuctatory

      Wastrel ewe upon the lap of Ms. Divine – Sublime – and find allegory tour your repertory

  • sol668

    Sure marijuana is addictive, so is junk food mike, ya fatty, and that food is probably worse for you in the long run. Do you make it to the gym 5 days a week and work 70 hour week routinely? No? Because I do, must be how “lazy” the marijuana makes me. Bigoted ignorant stereotypes, such as those put forward in this article, will hopefully be the first causality of legalization.

    If you wake up in the morning and smoke a bowl, you probably have a problem, just like if you’re 50 lbs over weight, or drink every night.

    • Mike Y

      Put me down as another one of those “lazy” types who routinely puts in 55+ hours at my job – at the age of 70, no less! I might also point out that Cannabis consumers must be the last group of people that politicians can openly smear, slander and defame with impunity.

      • sol668

        Ah you’re a man after my own heart Mike, if I have one goal in life its to die like my grandfather did at 85 years old, splitting wood out behind one of his 6 properties. Republicans need to realize that if they want to win the votes of people like me, who by any measure should vote republican (gun lover, top 25% of the income distribution, white guy) in Oregon like they do everywhere else in the country, they need to drop the bigotry. Pot smoking is something I do occasionally, not who I am.

  • Dave Lister

    Marijuana is not addictive. And yes, those guys were some special kind of stupid. And saying that the drug is “notorious for making people lazy” is absurd. The dorito-eating plumpers on the sofa in the basement is a cute image, but totally anecdotal. If it’s true that you “didn’t inhale” I wish you would have. You might then have something of a clue what you’re talking about.

    • Eric Blair

      You’ll notice that his post just appears to be some random musings that don’t rely on, as far as I can tell, any facts.

      Medicinal marijuana was never just about being able to swallow pills. That was just a silly statement.

      I’m not sure how Mike has determined that 2% of the population needing medicinal marijuana is suspect. My suspicion is that he would have found it suspect if only .5% of the population used it for medicinal purposes. Having said that, I’m sure abuse occurs. Just as abuse does for all prescription drugs.

      The comment about welfare was just an odd non-sequitur. He’s on the verge, well maybe a little past, of ranting.

      I’m not sure why he believes that smoking pot will be any less restrictive than smoking cigarettes in public. To the best of my knowledge smoking cigarettes in your home is not illegal, which is where people will “smoke a bowl”.

      Mike’s coming across a little hysterical.

      • guest

        E.B. Nurlman, go toke your parlance as a temp in a joke shop, monsieur.

        • Eric Blair

          LOL.. don’t have the courage to go after Dave Lister? You’re such a tool.

          • guest

            Lister be a better carpet cleaner than the left blank vacuum succor you proffer, E.B. whiz broom.

          • Eric Blair

            LOL.. not only a tool, but a suck-up as well.

  • Drew Lunn

    Yes, I’d love to consider the opinion of a man who hasn’t the ability to discern the very real fact that “October of this year” isn’t going to be here for another 8 months!…Wait. No, I wouldn’t.

  • Drew Lunn

    Also, dolt; Nothing on this planet is in the “orbit of the planet Jupiter”.

  • I love me Ardbeg

    As my name implies I prefer legal to illegal but soon I will be able to choose. My intuition tells me weed is less harmful than a poison. Yes folks you can die from alcohol poisoning, and no you can’t die from smoking too much weed. It will be interesting to see what happens to booze sales when MJ is legal. And it will be really interesting to see how corporate looks at weed once they see the potential profits. If it ends up that MJ sales aren’t worthy of big business then it won’t be anything more than a bunch of ‘home brew ‘ beer makers. 1/20 houses will have a plant or two growing in the garden next to the tomatoes and nobody will ever give a rats rear end ever again. Debate/discussion over. Nothing to see here. Move on, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here! Yada, yada, yada

  • Tommy Allen

    We moved from TX to OR, because of the liver transplant facilities at the PVAMC being better than Houston’s and for medical marijuana. That’s right I’m a Veteran and I’ll get that medical card for $20.00 instead of that 50, 60 or 200. I don’t see you mentioning that though.

    As for smoking, you do understand that their are vaporizers much like e-cigarettes, as well as edibles, pills, and even lotions now right? Because if you don’t your woefully under-educated on the topic in general and shouldn’t be speaking of it until you do.

    Would you rather have an addict who is going to abuse the system no matter what use mostly calming, low violence marijuana or be on life ending, highly addictive opioid pain pills that lead to crime and other street drugs, etc.? I know I’d rather see my Iraq buddies stoned into passivity rather than going through raging opioid withdrawal on the street.

  • TheFrequentPoster

    I was against marijuana legalization until the federal and state governments launched a program, without any debate I might add, to make it far more difficult and even impossible for long-time medically-documented sufferers of chronic pain to obtain effective pain medications that contain opiods, i.e. hydrocodone.

    I don’t suffer from chronic pain, but I know people who do. I’ve personally tseen the terrible consequences of denial of hydrocodone, a medication that has side effects yet is highly effective. Marijuana is a substitute. Not as effective, but these people need something to get them through their days, and especially their nights.

    Rep. Nearman, before any of this happened, I’d have probably been chuckling right along with you. But here we are. This is what happens when government is stupid, and treats legitimate patients in need as addicts to be scorned. I’m now a supporter of legal marijuana. It’s not because I want to be, but it’s because government forced it.

    By the way, the denial of weak opiates like hydrocodone has had another side effect besides providing the support that pushed marijuana legalization over the top. Heroin overdoses have skyrocketed. The lesson is the same as always — government ought to be a last resort, and should be reluctant to intervene in private affairs, especially medical.

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