Legislative update on marijuana: tracking and local control

Jeff Kruse

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

I have received a lot of phone calls and emails on the subject of marijuana, which advocates say we should call cannabis, but for the sake of brevity in this update I will call it pot. While a good number of these have been thoughtful and courteous, a large number and been vulgar and even threatening. To those in the latter category, if you are trying to make a valid point with a legislator, you are going about it the wrong way. I can’t speak for my colleagues, but personally I don’t respond to such tactics and have little respect for those who use them.

Before I go any further it might be a good idea to once again tell you why I am qualified to be working in this subject area. First, I am a recovering addict. I have been drug and alcohol free for 29 years; but, among the other things I did, I was a daily pot smoker for eighteen years. Additionally I have been involved legislatively with the medical marijuana program since the passage of the ballot measure in 1998.

I entered this Session with a lot of thoughts, but two primary objectives. The first was to protect the integrity of the medical program and the second was to attempt to end the black market sales in Oregon. Senate Bill 964 (which deals with the medical program) goes a long way to achieving those objectives.

Medical marijuana tracking system

Many have asked why we are dealing with the medical program when Ballot Measure 91 was about recreational use. The short answer is because of the direction we have received from federal government on the subject. We need to remember that pot is a schedule 1 narcotic at the federal level, and they expect a much higher level of accountability than we currently have in the system, which is actually no accountability at all.

For example, if we assume two pounds of pot for each of the 71,000 patients that would give us a total of 142,000 pounds accounted for in the system. However, the conservative estimates from OSU tell us there is well over a million pounds being produced (and other estimates take us to a much larger number).

There is clearly no way we can claim we know where the pot being produced is going, but one would have to assume it is going into the black market.

According to the Cole Memorandum from the US Department of Justice this is a red flag which could jeopardize the recreational program. SB 964 includes a tracking system which, with the support of the Governor’s office, will satisfy the feds on the issue of accountability.

Disagreement on local control of medical marijuana dispensaries

The issue that split the Joint Committee was the local option relative to the location of dispensaries. All of the Senate members of the committee wanted a local option provision, but three of the five House members didn’t. Over that issue the committee split and a Senate-only committee was created, which passed out SB 964. For those keeping track of such things, if the House had agreed it would have been SB 844.

Our version allows a local jurisdiction (city or county) to decide if they want to allow dispensaries, including the time, place and manner of the operations. It has two other provisions, one which would allow the people to put a measure on the local ballot with only 4% of registered voters being required and the second gave local governments 180 days to decide to give adequate time for people to put something on the ballot.

It should also be noted all existing dispensaries and those that have gone through the permit process would still be in place. We are hoping to get similar provisions on tracking and local options in the recreational bill, which is currently HB 3400 (which we just started working on).

Representing all the people of Oregon on marijuana

An interesting side note on “the will of the people.” Clearly the voters passed medical marijuana in 1998 and we have been working to improve the system since that time. It is also true the people passed Measure 91 at the last election, which compels us to implement the recreational program.

What I have always found to be interesting is what is defined as an “overwhelming majority.” In the case of Measure 91 the yes votes were 56%, which for some reason qualifies under the overwhelming category. What tends to be forgotten is the fact 44 out of 100 people voted no, which I think is actually significant. What I mean by that is the fact that those who voted no should not be totally ignored. As a Senator I don’t represent just those who voted for me, I represent all the people of my district.

I personally don’t think 56% is overwhelming, especially when in some parts of the state the vote went the other way. This is the primary reason I am supporting the local option, because I would prefer the state not dictate to communities much in the same manner I don’t like the federal government dictating to the states.

My favorite example is the education system. The more the federal and state governments have been dictating to school districts, the worse the outcomes have become.

The legalization of marijuana is a major change in this state. We are committed to doing what we can to make sure we do it right. I just think it is important to not step on the rights of communities and the people in those communities in the process.

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Posted by at 06:12 | Posted in Marijuana, OR 78th Legislative Session | 22 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • stonerboy

    Hey – listen up. If I smoke some serious weed it is nobody’s business. I don’t want the man tracking anything I do…keep him out of it.
    It is my business what I do with my lungs, brain, and body. Mine. Mine alone.
    I hate these government bastards.
    Hate them.

    • Vote for the latter.

      Proclaimed ‘stonerboy’ emanating from Stoned Hedged Bowels dialysis-arena.”

      Butt why succor up to his grind flinging out their dung by jolly, when recon-slinging the scatter brains out to the infamous devilish French sticklers Island to rot in their daze and smelling a lot better?

    • Bongstar420

      I probably smoke more…I don’t care

  • goldnlead2

    Mr. Kruse…. I think you are totally missing the point of the people! First, 56% of the people voted for RECREATIONAL marijuana. I would argue that if during the last election cycle the vote was on MEDICAL marijuana, than i would say, OVERWHELMINGLY, that 70% and probably closer to 80% of Oregonians would have voted for it!

    WAKE UP…. and know there is a difference!

    THAT BEING SAID, just because you were a crackhead boozer, doesnt mean that everyone that used “pot” is one as well… You would be amazed how many veterans get the “brown bag” of narco’s/opiodes every month to manage pain (consisting of oxycotins, methadone…) AS A MATTER OF FACT, you would be surprised to know that MORE DEATHS are caused in this nation everyday due to prescription painkillers and amazingly NOT ONE marijuana related death. See this link https://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/causes_of_death#sthash.w7OKsd7H.dpbs

    Do you really wonder why you are being threatened? You sir are a smart enough individual to understand that if you start taking away a persons RIGHT to self medicate (for free by growing their own medicine) as well as take away a persons right to MAKE A DECENT LIVING (yes, Alot of dollars are generated in this industry) you might piss off the masses. The most disgusting thing i feel you are doing is FORCING SICK PEOPLE TO PURCHASE STATE TAXED MEDICINE because you decided to take away the free option…. WTF…. REALLY? STOP DISCRIMINATING AGAINST SICK PEOPLE! I WONT STAND FOR IT!

    WAKE UP KRUSE…. you are on the wrong side of history!

    Just to prove you are on the wrong side of history, i am encouraging EVERYONE to go see you personally at your home, or write you a letter just so you can see FIRST HAND the people that you are crapping on!

    You have a beautiful house located at:

    636 Wild Iris Lane, Roseburg, Oregon 97470

    You start messing with the pain management of sick people and the lively hood of poor people in our state, then you reap what you sow…. You want to create a “witchhunt” against sick/poor people, i am sure they would love to return the favor and tell you IN PERSON just how wrong that is!

    The people WILL NOT STAND for the upper 1% elite that want to write their own law (contradicting what the people voted in via measure 91) as well as thwart the will of the people…. without consequences!

    Good luck. I think you are going to need it….

    The whole DO AS I SAY…… NOT AS I HAVE DONE…. is very unbecoming and extremely hypocritical!

    If you really smoked for 16 years EVERYDAY… illegally….. it truly makes one wonder where your TRUE MOTIVATIONS lie? How much illegal “pot” did you (DO YOU STILL) grow at your family farm, Kruse Farms in Roseburg? Enough to not want to make it legal, artificially keeping the black market prices HIGH, so you and yours can profit from it?

    Makes one wonder… that is for sure!

    • Eric Blair

      I sincerely hope this is not his real address. Disagree with him all you want, I do, but inviting people to confront him at his home is unexcusable.

      • goldnlead2

        Oh, KNOW it is his real address! It just goes back to that old adage:

        He who lives in glass houses should NEVER cast the first stone!

        If he is proud of what he is doing in the community, he should have NO PROBLEMS discussing/defending IN PERSON his beliefs that effect 71,000 people DIRECTLY in this state!

        Know that he has put MANY HOUSEHOLDS in jeopardy because of his beliefs….

        Besides, his address is posted on .gov site… Here is the link: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/kruse SO IT IS NOT SOME BIG SECRET!

        Do what you were elected to do, Jeff Kruse,THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE …. and you wont have to ever worry…. Right?

        • Eric Blair

          Then make an appointment to visit him in Salem, or contact him when he comes into his district to speak with his constituents.

          I don’t care where his address is listed, I just don’t think it’s cool to have people camped out at his home to harass him.

          • goldnlead2

            Eric, being my own man, i will do WHATEVER i want to do….. PERIOD…. and if that means directing the pissed off people to the source of their frustration, that is what i am going to do and i dont give 3shits how cool you think it is or not!

            That being said, why drive all the way to salem to speak with kruse about being a little tyrannical napolean, when i can drive 25 minutes to his house and talk with him directly? Man to Man? What are you so fearful about? I never advocated camping out at his home! I advocated writing a letter or knocking on his door and speak with him one on one.

            I find it somewhat humorous that this POS is advocating that the OLCC people coming to my home, knocking on my door once a month to count plants and if i dont comply, the police will come and knock on my door and possibly arrest me ALL BECAUSE MR. KRUSE wrote the bill and ramrodded it through a “special committee”, THE SAME “special committee” minus the 3 members that deadlocked SB844 that didnt see the light of day …. but the moment i direct the masses to do the exact same thing to MR. kruse, it is all of the sudden “out of bounds” while you and your ilk throw out the penalty flag. Amazing!

            It is about time WE THE PEOPLE start regulating the regulators.

            Sidenote: Once Mr. kruse became a public official and cashed his first check paid for by taxpayer dollars, NOTHING is private, not even his address.

          • .

            goldnleads funky number seems a squarely rooted derivative of 666.

          • Eric Blair

            You are no better.

          • .

            No doubt that you’re butt a Dem bolden fleecer, Mr; Blaaaaair!

          • Eric Blair

            You can do whatever you want to do, and it has nothing to do with being a man. This isn’t about what is legal, this is about decency. Everyone, including legislators, get to have a place where they to go enjoy their families and temporarily put everything else behind. Yes, you can do whatever you want, but you also get to be judged by standards of decency.

            I disagree with Jeff as well, but his actions do not call for the overblown reaction that you’ve exhibited. I can appreciate feeling strongly about this issue, but you also come across as a little unhinged.

            Your best bet? Not to harass him, but to get someone else elected.

            Do what you want, but showing up at his door uninvited and unannounced makes you look like a child who isn’t getting their way.

          • goldnlead2

            “Do what you want, but showing up at his door uninvited and unannounced makes you look like a child who isn’t getting their way.”

            That is EXACTLY how i feel when mr. kruse and his ilk tries to backdoor the intent of the voters (acting like a child that didnt get their way). Did you know that this new law that mr. kruse drafted allows for OLCC members to have arresting authority, to goto and inspect the domicile of every grower in this state (their place of refuge) and if I as a grower do not report at least 1 time per month, is subject to UNANNOUNCED inspections and i can be arrested and/or fined $5000 per day? TO QUOTE YOU, THIS IS NOT ABOUT LEGALITY, THIS IS ABOUT DECENCY (against sick people that live in our state, might i add)! So, the elected official should be able to be at peace at his home, but 71,000 people in this state cant feel the same way in their home? Doesnt that seem hypocritical to you?

            Once again, i will point out that the Oregon people have spoken! It seems that jeff kruse and his team of anti’s are acting like the big babies that lost the vote, didnt get their way,now flailing in the water trying to save face, drafting and ramrodding rules, regs and legislation down the necks of good oregonians that just isnt feasible!

            Good grief eric, get off of kruse’ tip and realize what is good for the gander, is good for the goose as well!

          • Bongstar420

            LOL

        • Bongstar420

          Where do you live? We have civil discussions to have?

          Correct?

          Thats why you arn’t advertizing your real contact info?

          475.304 Marijuana grow site registration system; rules; fee.

          (5) All usable marijuana, plants, seedlings and seeds associated with the production of marijuana for a registry identification cardholder by a person responsible for a marijuana grow site are the property of the registry identification cardholder and must be provided to the registry identification cardholder, or, if the marijuana is usable marijuana or an immature marijuana plant,
          transferred to a medical marijuana facility registered under ORS

          (7) A registry identification cardholder or the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may reimburse the person responsible for a marijuana grow site for the costs of supplies and utilities associated with the production of marijuana for the registry identification cardholder. No other costs associated with the production of marijuana for the registry identification cardholder, including the cost of labor, may be reimbursed.
          475.306 Medical use of marijuana; rules. (1) A person who possesses a registry identification card issued pursuant to ORS 475.309 may engage in, and a designated primary caregiver of such a person may assist in, the medical use of marijuana only as justified to mitigate the symptoms or effects of the person’s debilitating medical condition.

    • .

      Whack a mole’ – Goldenploy what a carnalval concession you pee’r to be

    • Bongstar420

      Ya…M91 was a mandate to continue unregulated production of “medicinal” crops.

      If you care, fight for insurance coverage…not cheap pot. We shouldn’t have to support legions of losers just to diminish the suffering of the few.

  • rayburn

    Dope don’t kill,
    except the will
    to work and earn your way.
    so smoke it up
    toke it up
    your cares will melt away.
    Dope is dope
    in case you did not know
    Dope is dope
    Man, I am feeling low.
    so I toke and toke
    on a massive blunt
    and now I see things like
    Alan Funt…everything is funny
    and really strange…
    but at least I am spared
    any pain.
    Man, the weed she keeps me strong
    with the weed I can do no wrong.
    I smoke and smoke and smoke some more,
    til I can’t even make it to the door
    to pay for my pizza I had delivered
    and now no pickled killer livered.
    I am free as a bird in flight
    and I toke and toke into the night.
    so leave me alone you fools and turds.
    And listen carefully to all my words.
    My body is mine to do with what I will
    and so smoke some dope is my big thrill.
    And now it is legal and can’t be stopped…
    My mind is numb….feels like it’s cropped.
    But, and I mean this, once and for all.
    Leave me be you fools – I will take the fall.
    For the dope she runs true and strong in my self.
    And who really cares about my health.
    I am strong and can take it all day long.
    Thus ends this ditty and my little song.

  • NAFTA Refugee

    This reminds me of the Sudafed situation. My father has chronic sinus infections and used to be an avid user of the original Sudafed recipe. In it’s wisdom Kulongoski and crew took steps against meth labs by forcing people to see a doctor. Now a $7 box of cold medicine will cost you a $150 doc visit plus $75 for a prescription.

    Now, to kick a man while he’s down, my father’s doc tells him he needs to just ride out the cold and he won’t write him the script. This is ********. The new stuff doesn’t work. Oregon beauracracy screwed up cold medicine.

    Letting the locals decide on issues sounds good but outside interests seem to creep in. Take the recent gun control bill turned law. Bloomberg money got more democrats elected in the Oregon legislature. Outside interests affected policy, not local. Result? We lose.

    • goldnlead2

      Good points all around….. but, if you remember the 1860’s in this nation… THE SOUTH didnt want to end slavery locally…..

      Was that the right thing to do, locally? I think history clearly says NO!

      Banning dispensaries locally just because the minority in city government DONT LIKE IT…… reminds me how the good ol’ boys from the south didnt like the proclamation/law to end slavery, and went to war over it…. and that is what jeff kruse is trying to do here!

  • I hope the good senator reads this eloquent response https://marijuanapolitics.com/the-audacity-of-oregon-senator-jeff-kruse/

  • Douglas J. Heuer

    Last year, Sen. Kruse told us he was “under attack” … this year he sings the same ol tune. But the statements made by Sen. Kruse speaks for itself …. on this blog last year he wrote:
    .1. “… I oppose legalization based on what is currently happening in Colorado and Washington.”
    2. “… we should wait to see how things evolve in those states before we take any action in Oregon.”
    3. “One issue would be the need for a level of training for anyone operating
    one of these establishments. To administer any other scheduled drug a
    person has to be a pharmacist.”

    For someone who says he was a daily pot smoker for 18 years sure lacks the understanding of the issues.

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