U.S. Attorney: marijuana traffickers, not medical patients, are the problem
Portland's U.S. Attorney, Amanda Marshall, commented recently that her office will not be devoting much time or resources to managing dispensary-style medical marijuana operations in Oregon. The number of such dispensaries has apparently grown quickly in a recent year, and there estimated to be around 100 across the state, most of which are in the Portland area.
Marshall's predecessor took a hard line on pursuing abuses connected to such dispensaries, calling the state's medical marijuana program a "train wreck." The law, which was passed in 1998, permits registered patients to possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana. Marshall has said her concern is not with cancer patients growing and using marijuana plants for their own use, but with drug trafficking operations.
In 2010, Oregon voters rejected a ballot measure that would have called for the legalization of licensed and regulated non-profit dispensaries throughout the state. That measure was criticized on the grounds that it would have greatly opened up access to marijuana.
In moving forward, Marshall has said she will put her focus on operations that move large amounts of marijuana from Oregon to the east coast, where retail prices are high, rather than on those who use marijuana for medical reasons.
Oregon law is, at present, designed to permit the private growth and use of marijuana for medical purposes. The system is specifically regulated, though, and those doing so need to be aware of the law. Medical marijuana patients can be busted even for slight deviations from the law. The consequences of such violations are nothing to mess with.