Oregon bills on ivory, pot and attacking religious freedoms

Jeff Kruse

With one-party rule in Oregon, we are seeing more loss of freedoms every week

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

At this point in the Session I thought I would show the track of three bills and the way they have been characterized.

The first one is Senate Bill 913 otherwise known as the ivory bill, which basically bans the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn products in Oregon. We received a large number of emails on this subject, all of them basically saying that elephants need the ivory more than humans. The goal of the legislation was, in theory, to stop the poaching activities in Africa, which would be a good goal.

Unfortunately this aspirational goal does not match up with reality. First the legal ivory trade has been going on for centuries. Second all of the activities in Oregon are part of the legal trade. Third this ban will have absolutely no impact on the poaching activities in Africa. What this bill will do is put some people who are involved in legal, sanctioned activities out of business. It should also be noted this bill bans the sale of mammoth ivory as well and the last time I checked they are still extinct. This is another example of form over substance. It was said on the Senate floor that we needed to do something, and I suppose this will make some people “feel better,” but that will not include those who will now be put out of business for no real reason.

The second bill is SB 844, which is the bill dealing with Oregon’s medical marijuana program. With the passage of Ballot Measure 91 a committee was formed to deal with the implementation of the legalization of marijuana. I am a member of that committee. It was decided by leadership that the first thing we should do was to clean up the medical program before taking on the recreational side, which was a good idea.

Initially there were a couple of workgroups on parts of the issue, but the workgroups for the main part of the bill consisted of two Senators and two Representatives, all of them Democrats. Last Friday the Republican members of the committee were given copies of the amended version of the bill (the -6 amendment), which was 89 pages long. It took me a couple of days to fully digest all of the provisions partially because, as with most complicated legislation, one has to look into references to other statutes.

While there are several areas of the bill I would like to see changed, I think the majority of the bill was well done and I am hoping things like a local option can still be added. One of the provisions I like the most is the section on tracking. Currently there is a significant amount of pot in the medical program unaccounted for and we believe it is ending up in the black market and some people are getting very rich on this trade. One of our goals is to stop this activity.

Over this week I have received several hundred emails in opposition to the -6 amendment. What I am reasonably sure of is those sending the emails did not read the bill. These emails were generated by the people who have become millionaires in this program, primarily because accountability would dry up their revenue source. So they scared a whole lot of patients into thinking we were “going to take away their medicine” in an attempt to derail the bill. This is a good example of how the internet can be a very powerful tool and should also be a lesson that if you are getting all of your information from one source you can be misled.

The third bill is House Bill 2307, otherwise known as the conversion therapy bill. This is in response to a somewhat questionable claim that some therapists are forcibly trying to convert kids with homosexual tendencies to a straight lifestyle. On some levels this is a bill about nothing, because licensed therapists have a code of conduct which would put them in violation of their license for such activities and could result in them losing their license. Because this bill has already passed in the House we assume it will pass in the Senate. It was up for a work session yesterday and we offered an amendment to create a religious exemption. We were told it already existed. We said, if that was the case, why not spell it out explicitly? Our amendment was rejected and the bill passed out of committee on a party-line vote. We did serve notice of a minority report and will try and get the religious exemption included on the Senate floor. This bill is just another in a series of bill attacking our freedoms and parental rights.

Last week I talked about our gradual loss of freedoms, and we are seeing more of it every week. While SB 913 and HB 2307 are not “major bills,” they are very much indicative of this trend. I hope people are starting to wake up to where one-party rule is taking our state.

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Posted by at 09:11 | Posted in 2nd Amendment, Marijuana, OR 78th Legislative Session, Religious Liberty | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Eric Blair

    “Currently there is a significant amount of pot in the medical program unaccounted for and we believe it is ending up in the black market and some people are getting very rich on this trade. One of our goals is to stop this activity.”

    If marijuana is legal, where is the black market?

    • MrBill

      I don’t have a medical MJ card, but if it’s cheaper than the black market, why not buy medical pot (from legal producers) and sell it on the black market instead of going to the hassle of importing it from Mexico or growing it on some hidden patch on National Forestland?

      I’d assume that if recreational pot’s cheap, then the black market would go away. But if it’s heavily regulated and taxed, expect a black market to thrive. Kind of like cigarettes in NYC.

      • Eric Blair

        I believe there is also the ability to grow your own… which most people don’t with tobacco. I’m thinking the price is probably going to drop.

        • thevillageidiot

          The price has already dropped. IMO it has dropped about 50%. the quality is better and there is much more variety.

          • .

            Kick the fucket all OR airheads out to WA or CO
            to receive their wail conceived arrears.

  • Eric Blair

    If the therapy is legal, then therapists are not necessarily putting their licenses at risk. If, as is the current thinking in the medical community, that Conversion therapy actually causes harm, then is there actually limit on what parents can do to their children under the cover of religious freedom?

  • Teddy

    I hope they legalize rhino horn as I have heard it works better than anything else to get a man going, if you know what I mean. I buy it now, but it costs a fortune. I can only afford to take it a few times each month. I was thinking of raising my own herd and culling their horns, but then figured that would take a long, long time. Anyway, legalize it please!! I need my horn!!!

    • .

      ‘Sighed’ Teddy A. HornyLoad IV free ranging commando chicks and udder ops.. .

  • Jack Lord God

    The entire medical marijuana program is explicitly about the “diversion pot”. That is the whole point of it.

    Look, this is real simple. Go to a pot growing store. Yes, you know where they are. Now, look at the equipment. See how much it costs? How big of an idiot do you have to be to think someone is going to invest in that kind of equipment and the time involved to grow pot to give it away to some geezer doing chemo? Answer – just about no one.

    Now, think about the law a little bit. Federal law sanctions you based on the number of plants, not the weight. Grow too many and you are in way more trouble than if you grow just a few. So what you want to do is grow just a few, but make sure these are super potent plants. See how that works? Do you think to grow plants like this might take a little bit more work and equipment and supplies than popping a few seeds in the ground?

    The entire medical marijuana industry is based upon growing a few gigantic plants at a time, of as high a potency as possible. Just one plant would be enough to last ten Bob Marleys until the next grow cycle. Any idiot can figure this out. What do you think is happening to the surplus?

    Oh, I guess growers just throw it out? Get real, this isn’t the USDA where Soviet style rules apply. Nobody gets paid for throwing stuff out.

    You want to fix this? Real simple.

    First, get rid of this asinine fiction that elves run around growing pot for cancer patients for free. They don’t. Second, start licensing and inspecting grow operations, just like any other business. Third, have some way of actually selling the stuff. How about tax stamps like on a pack of cigarettes? Oh gee, guess what, that means you will also have to start enforcing a law, which you will have to write, that makes selling non tax stamp pot a crime.

    It’s time to start getting a little serious about this and stop giving a pass to this one industry in terms of regulation and licensing. Why the hell is it some guy with a ladder and a paint brush who starts a house painting business subject to hours of education requirements, bond requirements, insurance requirements, yearly licensing, and even specifications as to how he can advertise when at best he is going to clear fifty grand a year, and some guy growing a drug has zero barrier to entry other than ten bucks or whatever for a medical marijuana card?

    Get real – anyone who walks around surprised that medical marijuana grows are nothing more than a conduit to skim and black market sell is an absolute idiot and really should not be allowed out of the house without a minder.

    • Eric Blair

      I think, perhaps, one of the problems that will need to be resolved is that there is already a robust underground market and delivery system in place. There is going to have to be some advantage, other than illegality, to persuade growers to adopt the system you’re advocating. Especially since they are already used to skirting the law. Do we know how much of the recreational pot was provided by growers of medical marijuana? If the percentage is relatively low, then your system falls apart unless you can convince hidden growers to come out into the open.

      • Jack Lord God

        > think, perhaps, one of the problems that will need to be resolved is
        that there is already a robust underground market and delivery system in
        place.

        The easiest way to persuasion is simply pass a law regulating the industry. Worked real well after prohibition, works pretty well with every other industry.The downside is it will likely lead to what exists in the booze industry, essentially government granted monopoly unless it is handled well.

        > There is going to have to be some advantage, other than illegality, to
        persuade growers to adopt the system you’re advocating.

        The advantage would be avoidance of fines, seizure of assets, same as any other business really. If we are going to legalize this, and we have, then we need to start treating it like any other business.

        > Do we know how much of the recreational pot was provided by growers of medical marijuana?

        Most of it. Go take a look at any picture of a modern grow system and the size of the plants involved. A modern grow cycle is on the order of ninety days. The federal laws really only kick in severely at eighteen plants. So, let’s do some math:

        18 plants generate about a pound a piece, you can tell that just by looking at them.

        Under Oregon’s medical pot law, you can only grow if you are supplying to a patient. Let’s figure that patient is Bob Marley and smokes two pounds every ninety days. That leaves you with sixteen pounds to spare.

        Sixteen pounds, figure $1,500 per pound, holy cow Batman, that’s $24,000 every ninety days, or about a hundred grand a year.

        Oh gee, now I guess we see how there can be grow supply stores all over the place selling hundred dollar a gallon fertilizer and five hundred dollar lights.

    • thevillageidiot

      how about a free market without regulation. why do we need gestepo running around sucking up tax payer money to count plants or test quality? so get real. SB844 is about more regulation. if Jeff believes in reduced freedoms from SB913 and HB 2307 then he needs to take another look at SB844. reduced freedom to run business with the intrusion of the government.

      • Jack Lord God

        Normally I am not a big fan of regulation. However I am even less a fan of the idea that every business gets regulated to death, except one favored business. That’s not freedom, that’s crony capitalism. Personally I am tired of it enough with the green welfare industry, don’t need to see that concept expanded further.

  • Brian Kelly

    When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

    • Brian Kelly

      Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

      So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

  • thevillageidiot

    Jeff, SB844 is more intrusion into the free market. there is more revenue in income tax than all the other taxes and regulations to try to “control” businesses conducting trade with willing consumers. so what if “some people are getting very rich on this trade. One of our goals is to stop this activity.” the activity exists because of government regulation. this is exactly the same as Monsanto and dupont with there lobbies to that allows them to continue with GMO products and questionable poisons such as “Roundup”. although this is changing in a semi free market where the voice of the consumer is getting back to the producer. https://thedailybell.com/news-analysis/36251/The-Free-Market-is-Solving-the-GMO-Problem/

    or the military industrial complex makeing huge profits on war, sucking up taxpayer productivity, and the misery it brings to “our enemies”. Increasing government regulation on the marijuana industry will only reenforce the black market which will continue to provide a high quality product at a fair price. The government just makes it easier to get a fair price while handicapping the legitimate business. What I would like to see is the MJ industry self regulate set standards and police themselves in the quality and sales of the product. Just like any other agribusiness.
    So when it comes to reducing freedoms like you are touting then look at your own policies first. You are advocating reduced business freedoms in one industry, marijuana, and advocating that government stay out of another business, Ivory, because of government regulation, SB913. Make up your mind free market or not. and BTW the SB913 is really lame just as you described.

  • .

    Marijuana is another noxious weed like English Ivy… surmounting every thing in its pathos and suffocating hosts like lung cancer. An Islamic counterpart prescribed as ISILcultacola.

    • .

      prescribed or OTC, clearly condemnable.

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