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Pullman to Reconsider the Rules for Salem Marijuana Gardens

For the latest news in the Northwest region, the City Council of Pullman has already discussed the probable regulations for medical marijuana, particularly for “community gardens” which have been approved recently. The meeting took place last Tuesday, August 23, 2011 in Pullman City. The discussion was comprised of the state laws which have been changed recently, and was made effective last July 22. With changes made, a maximum of 10 patients are now allowed to come together and grow their “community gardens” as a group. This will enable them to obtain their own supply of medical marijuana. For each garden, there is a maximum limit of 45 marijuana plants. Countries and cities under the newly revised law are now authorized to implement licensing requirements for business, apply zoning regulations, and implement taxes and regulations for health and safety purposes which are related to these medical marijuana dispensaries. According to Laura McAloon, attorney, the city of Pullman is not legible to pass any ordinance that will prohibit the said gardens. As a result, the council must make a decision if there are regulations to be made in any means. On the other hand, an interim zoning directive or a short-term halt can be implemented to prohibit the said activities. This way, the council can have more time to make the necessary considerations regarding which type of law is suited. With the new law and the confusion that comes with it, McAloon stated that there are likely more changes to be made in the future. In Washington alone, many cities prefer not to create any suspension. The law will be effective for a period of one year, and it can also be renewed for an extension of at least six months provided that there is a public hearing and fact finding support prior to the extension period. For individuals in Washington, they must have a terminal or incapacitating medical condition to make them qualified patients for the alternative treatment with medical marijuana. Although the law can provide legal protection to these patients, they can still be arrested if they will be caught making illegal transactions with the medical marijuana.

According to Union Rights, Voters Can Choose to Legalize the Use of Pot Come 2012, voters in Salem, Oregon can now choose whether marijuana can be legalized or create a limit for public employees in collecting political assistance.

The two ideas mentioned are part of more than twenty ideas being proposed for the upcoming 2012 ballot. The necessary signatures are already being collected by citizen groups. Approximately 116,000 signatures are aimed to be collected in order to deliver these ideas to the voting citizens of Oregon.

To date, not a single proposal has achieved an adequate amount of signatures that will qualify them for the 2012 ballot. The deadline for submission is on the 6th of July in 2012. Proponents still have a lot of time to cover. With the proposal of the legal use of medical marijuana, adults will be enabled to raise marijuana plants and use them even without having a medical card. Legalization means that anyone can buy the drug from licensed stores in the state. Qualified patients who have incapacitating medical conditions can obtain a card for medical marijuana for them to purchase the drug tax free. Citizens who are not qualified patients may still purchase the drug but with additional taxes for the General Fund of the state. The taxes will also benefit the different programs for drug treatment, as well as extensive research for the use of marijuana plants such as bio fuels.

According to Paul Stanford, a marijuana activist from Portland, their campaign aims to show that prohibiting marijuana is based purely on lies. From last year’s failure in selling medical marijuana provided by dispensaries licensed in the state, Stanford now has a stronger shot for next year’s ballot. Last year’s proposal was rejected, having 56 percent of the total votes. It suggested that marijuana should be legalized, and it is an excellent example for a debate. This year, that is exactly what Stanford will do – debate and emphasize.

So far, 28,000 signatures have already been gathered by Stanford’s group. Based on the data provided by the state office secretary, that is approximately one-third of the total signatures needed. From a statement made by retired police officer and Rep. Andy Olson, the measure taken by activists will definitely open the doors widely in terms of the use of medical marijuana. Olson is a native of Albany, and is a lawmaker of the Republican state. He claims that the path this issue brings is not where the state or the country wants to go down to.

Another gauge will also prevent the government from gathering union political assistance from payroll deductions. According to the proponents, the government should not be accumulating the money which is intended for political reasons. According to Jed Messner, an insurance agent from Redmond who is also a conservative activist, being a part of the union is extraordinary, but it does not imply that the union will support them financially. The unions will definitely make a move, claiming that the assessment is not fair to workers. It is also an attempt to disable them from their freedom of speech. The union claims that workers should have the same amount of deductions as employees have from their payrolls. Political contributions should also be optional, not mandatory. According to the constitution the state is prearranged into three different units of the government. In the state of Oregon, the government pertains to the judicial, legislative, and executive units. Currently, there are some spelling and other grammatical errors that need to be corrected in the governing document of Oregon.

The Legislature has passed on another measure and shall make for the governor’s emergency powers such as in a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or catastrophe. It will enable the governor to transfer the money between different state agencies for a limited amount of time. The Legislature will then have to meet if the circumstances will not allow them to reach Salem. According to the proponents, the Japan earthquake and tsunami disasters have provided an example for state leaders to respond in the same way should a similar disaster strike.

Doors Open for Marijuana Resource Office

In southeast Salem, the largest club for medical marijuana has now opened its doors to the public one day every week. To others’ disappointment, guests are not allowed to get medication. The Salem Cannabis Resource Center Incorporated is located at 25th Street SE. One day every week, the public can have access to the place and learn more about the benefits of medical marijuana. For those who have acquired their cards for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, they can now learn the basics of the program. For long time card holders, you can simply hang out. According to Jim Hickam, executive director of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, patients can get as much help as needed. For those who have recently obtained their medical marijuana card, they have no idea what to do that is why it is important that they get the assistance that they need.

To date, the cannabis club has approximately 300 members. Patients are set up with plants, tincture, salves, liquid medication, and growers with no cost at all. The club is a place where people can help one another. The cannabis club is not a marijuana dispensary. The goal of the club is to educate people on how to take care of oneself. Since its opening in January, the Salem club has already incorporated other members from the NORML. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has been dissolved, and since June, its members are now part of the Salem club. According to Lt. Dave Okada, spokesman for the Salem police, officers who are working in the area claim that there has not been any reported complaints or problems related to the Salem CRCI.

A few weeks ago, an open house was held for the public and a membership was sold to the first person who came in. According to Debbie Brocamp, manager for Salem CRCI, it is a nice feeling to help those who are in need. With northeast Salem having a vacant warehouse from NORM, there will be more space for parking and an easier way to travel to the club. After medication, patients are prohibited to drive their own vehicle. Either they take a bus, or they get picked up by a friend or relative. According to a qualified patient and medical marijuana user Neal Feldman, he is ecstatic to be in this place. He rides the bus to and from the Salem club in a wheelchair.

The focus of the Salem CRCI is for the socialization of patients and workers. There is a pool table, a quiet room, and a game room equipped with an Xbox console and a large screen TV. Board games like scrabble are also popular among the guests. There is also a small kitchen with available concessions for sale. Pretzels and corndogs are popular among guests. Growing aides and tincture bottles are also available for sale. A “bud tender” accepts donations for these items.

Salem, Oregon is the state capital and third largest city of Oregon. The city lies in and is a trade center of the central Willamette Valley in northwestern Oregon. Ocean beaches are found to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. The city’s population amounts to 154,637 as of 2010. It is the seat of Marion County and has a council-manager form of government.

Surrounding farm communities rely on Salem as an important commercial center. Local harvest and handicrafts abound from Salem’s perennial and summer farm markets. The Department of Human Resources is found in Liberty Street and about 60 state government agencies make up the employment source in Salem. Major industries include food processing and paper and wood product manufacturing. An airport and an Interstate highway serve the city. Retail services have also remained a mainstream source of income in the city.

The focal point of Salem is the Capitol Mall, which is adjoined by the white marble capitol and the state library. The city houses the historic buildings of Willamette University and Western Baptist College. Willamette University, founded in 1842, is the oldest university west of the Rocky Mountains. The Bush House, a mansion equipped with antiques, dates back to the 1800’s and serves as one of Salem’s tourist spots along with other restored houses located in the city.

Jason Lee, a Methodist missionary, founded Salem in 1840. In 1851, the community took the name Salem, which in Hebrew means peace, and became the state capital.

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