Medical marijuana crime prompts release of map – OregonLive.com
With crime involving medical marijuana grows and use on the rise, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has released a map revealing Oregon Medical Marijuana Program users and growers where crimes have been committed.
This despite the state medical marijuana law (ORS 475.331) stating: “475.331 List of persons issued registry identification cards, designated primary caregivers and authorized grow sites; disclosure. (1)(a) The Department of Human Services shall create and maintain a list of … the addresses of authorized marijuana grow sites. Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the list shall be confidential and not subject to public disclosure. … (3) Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies that obtain identifying information from the list as authorized under this section may not release or use the information for any purpose other than verification that … a location is an authorized marijuana grow site.”
The department spokesperson, Sgt. David Thompson, explains that the county knows it is violating the law, and they do not care:
With narcotics sales, or even when growers tell others about their operations, armed take-over robberies and serious assaults inevitably occur, Thompson said.
While these crimes occur in the county and throughout Oregon, the public is unlikely to know about crime trends because Oregon law says law enforcement cannot release or use OMMP participant information except to verify the person has a valid card, Thompson said.
“At this point, we are going against what the state advises,” Thompson said. “This law was designed to help sick people. But when they go out of compliance, or use the law to buy and sell marijuana, that’s not OK.”
So, while admitting that they are going against what the state “advises” (nice to know laws are just “advice” to county sheriffs), and while admitting that when grow operations are known it leads to robberies, they publish on the county sheriff’s website a map of these growsite locations.
The Hillsboro Argus exacerbates the problem by regurgitating the sheriff’s office media page falsehoods about the medical marijuana law:
A “grower” classification was added in the last update of the law, allowing an unlimited number of patients with six mature plants and 18 immature plants for each patient.
A grower can potentially possess plants in the hundreds or even thousands, making even legal grow sites a more lucrative target for theft and violence.
Untrue. ORS 475.320: “(2) A person authorized under ORS 475.304 to produce marijuana at a marijuana grow site: (a) May produce marijuana for and provide marijuana to a registry identification cardholder or that person’s designated primary caregiver as authorized under this section. (b) May possess up to six mature plants and up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana for each cardholder or caregiver for whom marijuana is being produced. (c) May produce marijuana for no more than four registry identification cardholders or designated primary caregivers concurrently.
Each patient is allowed to possess 1-1/2 pounds of dried marijuana and up to six mature marijuana plants. A typical plant produces one to three pounds of marijuana, so the program allows possession of more than 7 pounds of marijuana per patient. “No one needs that much,” Thompson said.
Untrue. Patients are allowed 24 ounces of dried, usable marijuana. Marijuana still on a plant is neither dried nor usable. If those plants are harvested and medicine dried, then that medicine counts against the 24 ounce limit.
Additionally, the assertion that a single plant is producing 16 to 48 ounces of medicine is highly unlikely. According to a 1992 DEA study, “Cannabis Yields”, “on average, each square foot of mature, female outdoor canopy yields less than a half-ounce of dried and manicured bud.” For Thompson’s three pound plant, it would be a 96-square-foot plant – that’s a plant with a 12′ x 8′ canopy!