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Local Oregon Governments Cannot Regulate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


oregon house bill hb 3460 medical marijuana dispensaries ommpThe State of Oregon’s Legislative Counsel Committee issued a letter yesterday, which stated that only the State of Oregon can regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, not local municipalities. The letter came after cities in Oregon started attempts to ban medical marijuana dispensaries altogether, namely Medford. The letter stated:

“we conclude that while a municipality may not be required to violate federal law to comply with a conflicting state law, a municipality may not act contrary to state law merely because the municipality believes that the action will better carry out the purposes and objectives of federal law.”

Oregon has a long history when it comes to zoning and ordinances. For instance, the town where I went to college, Monmouth, didn’t allow alcohol sales for decades. There are ordinances in my hometown that don’t allow loitering on public streets during certain hours. There’s even a ‘prostitute ordinance’ in Salem that doesn’t allow known/convicted prostitutes to walk thru certain parts of town unless they are on their way to or from an emergency, or to or from work (prostitution work not accepted!).

So it was very interesting to see the letter give the recommendation that it did. After all, we seem to love ordinances and zoning rules in Oregon. However, some of the legal reasoning behind the recommendation was very unique. According to The Oregonian:

“The state’s new so-called GMO law, which allows only the state to regulate plant seeds, factored into Taylor’s analysis. The law, which wasn’t aimed at cannabis production and sales, prohibits local governments from regulating commercial plant seeds and products.”

So while some local ordinances and zoning laws are OK, anything that has to do with plant seeds and plant products are not OK. Medical marijuana dispensaries are here to stay in Oregon, regardless of what reefer madness supporters say or think. I really wish the leaders of cities like Medford would realize this and focus their efforts towards fighting violent crime rather than constantly trying to attack medical marijuana patient’s rights.


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Johnny Green


  1. The support for those activities is a matter of interpretation as far as legal grounds goes. All the authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act is derived from the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

    The irony is that while the authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act is derived from the commerce clause and is not a huge stretch of proper legal justification, its primary foundation is found in the General Welfare clause in the Constitution of which apparently the Federal Government has little to no power to enforce as an actual law. The main factor in the illegality of the Controlled Substances Act is that there is no empirical evidence that any drug is a substantial enough of a threat to the general welfare of the citizens of the United States of America to warrant federal intervention. They do try to prove it with endless rigged studies on rodents and statistical analysis of the population. The agencies such as the DEA and ONDCP are required by internal policy to support prohibition regardless of any factual evidence. There is no rule requiring them to be honest in any way. The thought that their actions are more harmful to the community than the actual substances themselves (which is antithetical to the intent of the coining of the term general welfare) does not factor in to their considerations.


    At the end of the second to last paragraph it is stated, “However, the Court did limit the power to spending for matters affecting only the national welfare.


    I do not believe the Supreme Court will actually hear any challenges as to the actual threat drugs pose to the general welfare of the citizens of the United States of America. Several substances enumerated in the Controlled Substances Act are available by prescription. Methamphetamine and Heroine are amongst them. In 1986, the Controlled Substances Act was amended with the Federal Analog Act. It effectively authorizes the federal agencies to imprison anyone for having anything that might get them high. Isn’t that dandy?


  2. so tell me how the federal government gains access to arrest citizen within the state when jurisdiction is state wide outside the any enclave of federally own land tell me how they can bust anyone please cite the law send it too Massvocals@comcast.net

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