Rule-Makers Wrap Up Discussion on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

, Posted: Thu, December 12 2013 at 5:31 PM, Updated: Thu, December 12 2013 at 6:33 PM

A committee charged with coming up with the guidelines wrapped up their work Wednesday in Salem.

Medical marijuana dispensaries will be legal in March of 2014

Jennifer Gaytan has been a medical marijuana cardholder for a number of years now and she's one of many patients, worried they won't be able to take their medication at dispensaries.

"A lot of cardholders live in places where they can't medicate," said Gaytan.

It's one of the issues that came up in Salem where a rule-making committee has been discussing guidelines for the legalization of medical marijuana dispensaries next year. Final rules will eventually need to be approved by the Oregon Health Authority.

According to Alex Rogers, owner of Ashland Alternative Health, the committee has already decided patients won't be allowed to take their medication at dispensaries. However, there is an exception for employees who work at those establishments.

Jennifer Gaytan isn't happy about the news.

"We really do need a place to medicate," Gaytan said.

Medicating at home is hard to do for patients like Gaytan.

"Some people live in group homes [...] different types of housing where it's against he rules [...] and they can't even have their medicine on the premises in some of these places."

However, not all medical marijuana cardholders feel the same way. One man who is a medical marijuana cardholder, but did not want to appear on camera said medical marijuana should be treated the same as any other medication.

"You don't go to Walmart and get in the prescription line [...] pop open a Pepsi and start shelling your medicine," he said.

"It's gotta be a fair rule on both sides of the coin."

The rules are expected to be finalized next month.

It's possible the rule prohibiting cannabis use at dispensaries could be overturned, but we're told it's unlikely.

Things could heat up even more though. Alex Rogers with Ashland Alternative Health said there may be an option where counties can ban dispensaries outright, meaning the issue could eventually be taken up in court.


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