Marijuana advocates plan to appeal reclassification

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Friday, June 18, 2010

The Oregon Board of Pharmacy announced Thursday that it would remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule I Controlled Substances” to a schedule II classification – meaning the board recognizes that marijuana does have an acceptable medical use. Oregon is the first state in the nation to take such a step, contradicting the federal government's stance on marijuana. But advocates still are disappointed and plan to appeal.

“The classification itself shows that medical marijuana patients are still being discriminated against because [marijuana] is still classified with substances like oxycodone, which is one very small step from heroin,” said attorney Gregory Barton, who plans to appeal the decision.  “[Schedule II] drugs have caused deaths whereas marijuana is basically a non-toxic herb that hasn’t ever caused any deaths.”

The reclassification comes after Senate Bill 728 passed last year, which required marijuana to be removed from the schedule I list and reclassified.  Over the last several months the board listened to testimony and research from advocates and law enforcement officers concerned about abuse before voting on the reclassification.

Marijuana by the numbers
Medical marijuana is now officially medicine in Oregon.

The federal government treats marijuana as a non-medicinal Schedule I drug, but more than a dozen states including Oregon allow medical marijuana use. In addition, the regulators in the United Kingdom have approved the first-ever prescription medication derived from the cannabis plant, an MS drug called Sativex. The medication went on sale for the first time today in England.

Schedule I drugs, such as LSD and heroin, typically have no medicinal value and high abuse potential.  Marijuana was moved into the schedule II substances, which are said to have “high abuse potential with severe psychological or physical dependence liability but are accepted for medical use in the US and are available by prescription,” according to the press release.

Barton is filing the appeal on the basis that the board didn’t consider the proper factors in its decision making process.  “They really ended up ignoring a lot of the scientific evidence and eventually just listened to the political pressures to make it a schedule II.”

Christine McGarvin is a medical marijuana advocate who testified several months ago about the reclassification, and like many other supporters she is disgruntled by the decision.

“We don’t think medical marijuana should be classified any higher than a schedule III at least” said McGarvin.  “There is a big difference between schedule II and schedule III in terms of a felony or misdemeanor according to the law.”

For a schedule II classification anyone who is not in compliance with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), and possesses more than an once is immediately charged with a felony.  Possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is treated as a minor violation similar to a traffic ticket under state law.

Both McGarvin and Barton cited discrepancies about where Marinol and marijuana are classified.  Marinol is a purified form of THC and it’s a pharmaceutical product,  but it's a schedule III classification.  Marinol is already widely available through prescription.  According to Barton a less purified form of a substance and the pure form is almost always scheduled in either the same or lower classification, and marijuana and Marinol are the only exceptions.  He argues marijuana should at least be scheduled with Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, in the schedule III classification or lower.

This new classification won’t change anything for Initiative 28, which would allow nonprofit dispensaries to sell medical marijuana to patients and enable licensed growers to sell to dispensaries.  I-28 already has accumulated an estimated 115,000 signatures, and will likely make it to the November ballot ballot.

Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for the initiative, said the reclassification doesn’t change anything as a practical matter because the medical marijuana dispensaries would be regulated by the Department of Human Services and not the Oregon Board of Pharmacy.

“As a symbolic victory it does establish the fact that cannabis has a medicinal value and so it may help convince people that sick and disabled patients should have that option and that will convince more people to support the initiative,” said Johnson.

So the controversy continues.  Read more about how pot could and already does bring economic development to Oregon as Ben Jacklet reports in “Marijuana Goes Mainstream” from the May 2010 issue of Oregon Business Magazine.

Jessica Hoch is an online reporter for Oregon Business.

 

Comments   

 
Douglas J Heuer
0 #1 Justice Denied !!Douglas J Heuer 2010-06-21 18:30:56
It is very hypocritical of the drug warriors to present arguments demanding a science based policy instead of a policies placed by initiative petitions, and the first chance they get to have a scientific foundation of marijuana policy they instead assert political pressure to place the cannabis plant in a higher schedule than its synthetic and purified form.

That is the equivalent to placing a coffee bean in schedule II when the purified form, caffiene, is considered an over-the-counte r drug.

It is sad that the Board of Pharmacy feels that can laviously waste our time and resources by upholding the drug war propoganda of lies, discrimination, and thick-headednes s. Seems like they place importance of political wills and God-like superiority over the lives of Oregonians who depend upon a cheap and safe medicine to ease their pains and sufferings. Justice is denied again in the war on drugs and to the citizens who deparately need them.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Kay dickerson
0 #2 call the medicine what it is...Kay dickerson 2010-06-21 23:33:03
"So the controversy continues. Read more about how pot could and already does bring economic development to Oregon as Ben Jacklet reports in “Marijuana Goes Mainstream” from the May 2010 issue of Oregon Business Magazine."
please be a professional, & call it medical marijuana.
according to the laws, it IS medicine.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
P.A.N. Agent 67 1
0 #3 ...what it is???P.A.N. Agent 67 1 2010-06-25 12:52:55
Kay brings up the reference to Kanabous and the "mainstream" degradation thereof... reefer this as the economic-golden -calf-mind$et-r ush-reefer to by p.o.t. heads, dopes, weeds and the like.

Patients Out of Time... Yo homies don't you know Me? The name is KanDo~
SigNature - 13:28!!!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS