MEDFORD, Ore. — Statistics show 6,900 people in Jackson county are medical marijuana card holders. Only Multnomah county has more. Both local law enforcement officials and medical marijuana advocates agree dispensories would likely will lead to more card holders, but differ on if that is a positive or negative thing for the state.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are a signiture away from popping up in Oregon. House bill 3460 sits on the governor’s desk and would allow for dispensories in the state. Medford police Chief Tim George said he expects this to cause further problems in an already troubled Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
“Make no mistake about it, it’s certainly going to change the way marijuana is handled and looked at throughout the state,” said Chief George.
Chief George makes it clear he has no problem with those who legitimately need medical marijuana but believes too many people are scamming the system.
“I as well as my law enforcement colleagues have no problem with someone who has a legitimate need for marijuana for a medical purpose. a legitimate medical purpose,” said Chief George.
Medical marijuana advocates think having dispensaries will break down a stigma for the medicine and more people may turn to it.
“More main stream folk, if you will, feel more comfortable going out and getting their card,” said CEO of Ashalnd Alternative Health Alex Rogers.
Rogers said he has no plans to open a dispensaries anytime soon of the bill is signed, however he thinks he will still feel an impact.
“It will affect my business in that patients will now have safe access to medicine and also have regulated access to medicine,” said Rogers.
Chief George said most of his concerns fall into two categories.
“You’re going to have too much marijuana on the marketplace, the rules will be so un-manned or un enforced, or for the lack of a better word, unsupervised, that you will have continued sales of marijuana and not just to card holders but to anyone,” said Chief George.