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MERCYs' public info on H.B.2485 as well as any related Issues.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
MERCYs' public info on H.B.2485 as well as any related Issues.
Summary: Submitted By Representatives BROWN, JENSON, P SMITH; Representatives ANDERSON, BURLEY (at the request of Rob Bovett and Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association) -- Relating to controlled substances; 2485 changes effect current cannabis (marijuana) laws, including medical, in this regard:
Section 16 of 2485 would amend 475.992(7) by definng 'possession' for purposes of the crime of possession of a controlled substance, as follows:
Concerning difference between 'under the influence' and 'in one's system.' The only time they are synonymous is with alcohol (.08 or more is under the influence). Under the influence in this context means that the substance has affected the person 'to a perceptible degree'
This is especially problematic for cannabis for two reasons. For medical cannabis patients, the problem is that 'use' in a public place is outside of the protection of the OMMA, and, use includes possession. If possession includes being under the influence, then being medicated in a public place would be unprotected under the OMMA.
For non-patients, it gives the police a tool to harrass and shake down people based on how they look. 'Appearing stoned' would create probable cause to arrest and search. Setting aside the civil liberties issue, those who make this determination are often wrong, and the effect of the error can be significant to the person wrongfully detained.
The text on this new "Meth" bill can be found in PDF format at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/05reg/measpdf/hb2400.dir/hb2485.intro.pdf
Status: HB 2485 was introduced by Representatives BROWN, JENSON, P SMITH; Representatives ANDERSON, BURLEY (at the request of Rob Bovett and Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association) -- Relating to controlled substances.
2-2(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker's desk.
There are no scheduled hearings as of yet. The Joint Ways and Means is a good committee to address the issue of the fiscal cost of the provision under discussion which is: HB 2485, Section 16, amends ORS 472.992, adds new Section (7) Rep Anderson is from Grants Pass and being a sponsor he has to be approached. Rep. Greg Macpherson is the vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, where HB2485 is now. He voted "NO" on HB2939 last Session, which tells us (hopefully) he is pretty level-headed about "drug issues".
Details: All that has been said about 2485 is true here, but the best way of stopping the consumption/possession connection is through the fiscal problems such a policy creates. Think of the sound arguments Floyd Prozanski made against #57 and the additional resources that would be required just to treat one ounce possession as a crime and then multiply that cost by an unknown BIG factor when you consider the number of "users" of all the controlled substances who the cops stumble across each day and the probable overuse of this provision by the cretin side of law enforcement.
That is big pile of dollars and the dollars are not there. Maybe Floyd would be a useful person to address this to - The House seems likely not to be a place to remove this provision but it never hurts to try. Republicans might be approached on the fiscal issues by pointing out how much meth is a problem and your desire not to see the effort diluted by choking the legal system with unrelated problems or even offending many people who really have no connection w/ meth and thus weakening their support for the effort.
The bill seems to cover mostly meth except for this lurch into fascism and this is not the year argue against any of the real meth parts, but fiscally, this little lurch really could a crippler for their desired goals - tying up the legal system to convict a bunch of red eyed folks will not leave any money for meth. Given that premise, the fiscal impact report could be a real ally here.
Even Republicans would rather grit their teeth and let loadies stay free rather than meth freaks.
NOTE: One suggestion is to try writing to them about the necessitities of FACTUAL education and EFFECTIVE treatment to deal with this issue.
From an Activist: "I just spoke with my local sheriff who I alluded to in my letter to Gordon Anderson. In response to my explanation of what 2485 would with consumption=possession he immediately responded, "Oh no, I can't be doing that."
I sent him my letter to Anderson for help."
Here is my note to Gordon. The House Judiciary is a bunch of strangers to me so I am no help there. They must be SOMEBODY'S Reps. Give them a buzz. On another note I am going to ask Rep. Buckley (he was my advisor for my almost run for office) to see if Leg. Counsel is working on any cannabis bills.
Friday, February 18th, 8 pm
Well, everyone has gone on home after a very satisfying afternoon in Hood River at the "Summit on Methamphetamines" sponsored by our own hometown Congressman, Greg Walden. There were 10 of us who showed up, with signs ready. We met at Safeway to discuss our strategy, which was to legally challenge any mistruths, especially about marijuana. Wayne Haythorn and I were sure happy to see such a group after going it alone last time.
The May Street Middle School was busy with people when we arrived. The first person I saw was Hood River County Sheriff, Joe Wampler. I told him I completely agreed with his statement in the paper that we needed treatment on demand, which had been my position for over 20 years. I said that I thought it should be available for alcohol, tobacco, meth or any other drug with which people had problems. Joe and I have known each other for years and he just chuckled. We shook hands and proceeded into the school.
We were greeted at the door by high school students, who handed us literature and directed us to the tables with cookies, coffee and other beverages. We found our places, choosing not to sit together as a group. Dan Koozer placed himself in a good position to take pictures.
We all wrote our questions on the forms that were handed out in the information packet and turned them in. The literature about marijuana in the packets was quite reasonable. I used the opportunity before the meeting began to talk to the local politicians and department heads that I knew from years of being on Wasco County commissions and committees. Erin Hildebrandt had a brief opportunity to speak to Congressman Walden and hand him some literature. Then we settled in for what Melodie Silverwolf said was like a Republican religious ceremony.
It started with the pledge of to allegiance to the flag, then Walden introduced a large number of people. After taking up a considerable amount of time with the introductions, he brought out a bag of household products that are used to make meth, bought at local stores. Then he gave a slide show about meth.
A fifth grade class marched to the front and gave us their rendition of a boot camp style chant about being drug free, which ended with a salute that was chillingly reminiscent of a Nazi salute. They then performed a dance, which again ended with the salute. Of course the kids were cute.
After more introductions of the panel, each of the 13 members offered stories and statistics about how badly meth was affecting the community and what steps they were taking to try to fix it. Of course there was a call for harsher meth laws, including one that would make it "illegal by consumption". There was lots of talk about the need for affordable treatment (read free). Repeatedly it was also reported that treatment was very under funded. Some called for more foster parents, others for more laws, but not one person talked about the reasons that people turn to substance abuse (in this case meth) in the first place. NO ONE talked about reducing the demand, only about what to do after it is already a serious problem.
Then the State Police officer raised the issue of medical marijuana, saying a minor in the county had been issued a card. In the question and answer session, law enforcement implied that medical marijuana was a ruse for illegal activity.
We were already reaching for our signs. Up went the sign, "Tell the truth about Marijuana". It stayed up. Then the sign "Stop the Lies". By now we had everyone's attention. When the speaker quit and people started clapping, as they did when each speaker ended, we booed and called out "Tell the truth" and "Quit telling lies". As soon as people quit clapping, we were quiet.
Meanwhile Curt Wagoner and Dan Mathews were outside passing out literature from Common Sense for Drug Policy, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and MAMA. They gave away 70 packets quickly and easily. Both felt they could have given out twice as much, had it been available.
Those of us left at the end posed for pictures and used the opportunity to talk to other attendees. No one was particularly hostile to us.
We gathered at our home for a short wrap up visit. We enjoyed each others company and I think everyone thought it was well worth the effort. We all agreed that it would be so productive if other folks would turn out at the rest of these events that Congressman Walden has scheduled.
We silently held our double-sided signs up as soon as they started talking about marijuana. The first sign we held up and kept up said "Tell the truth about marijuana." When Magee said something about medical marijuana being a myth, we also held up the sign "Stop the Lies". We only booed when the clapping started and we stopped as soon as it died down. We were spaced around the room and other supporters joined us as well.
I received the following post from a person involved with a peace activist group. "I totally agree with your observations, especially about the Nazi like feeling I got, and the disgusting boot camp chant by the children. Indoctrination of our children at our public schools."
This was my first time braving the prohibitionist folks of the rather conservative second district, and it was an educational experience.
As Sandee pointed out, having people there to challenge the seemingly inevitable lies that were spoken, made a big difference in the attitudes of those assembled. This appeared to be a group of leading republicans in a heavily republican district, and a significant part of the audience was terrified of meth and eager for them to provide solutions.
No questions that clearly opposed anyone's position on the panel were read aloud, but I do have some hope that Congressman Walden will reply to our questions in writing. The cards said that questions not asked aloud will still receive replies by mail.
The panel consisted of Congressman Walden along with law enforcement, other politicians, educators, and public health/addiction specialists. Before the event, I thanked him for having this meeting and introduced myself to the Congressman. I gave him a copy of Patients in the Crossfire with my contact info stapled into the back of the book, a copy of my article in Mothering Magazine, and a copy of the ANA statement. I asked him to read it, when he was called away. Before he ran off, though, I did manage to get him to agree to speak with me further after he has time to read my article. It was a foot in the door, anyway :-).
After the Congressman gave his remarks, he turned over the microphone to Ken Magee with the DEA. This could've been my imagination and obvious bias, but it felt as though some of his comments were directed specifically at us. He spoke about losing his oldest brother to a drug overdose just in the last few years. He appeared to me to be trying to look choked up, though he certainly could've been feeling genuine sorrow and been trying not to lose his composure. But I just got the feeling he was trying to work the room, more than keep his composure. And he immediately looked over in our direction, glaring at Sandee, Melodie Silverwolf, Curt Wagoner and myself, throughout his speech about his brother.
Next was Craig Campbell. He was representing the governor's office, and one remark I found hopeful was that he said the Governor's office wants to identify better ways to prevent substance abuse. However, he also feels that requiring pharmacies to keep records of Sudafed sales will help the meth problem.
Following Mr. Campbell, was Patti Smith, with the Governor's Task Force on meth. She's a mom and a new gramma, so child endangerment is a big issue for her.
Eric Martin, an addiction specialist, believes putting Sudafed behind the counters is a "great intervention." An interesting point he noted was that, unlike the rest of the country, in OR, after 9/11, drug abuse among kids went up. Sadly, although OR ranks 8th for substance abuse among those 12 years and over, he noted that we rank 45th in treatment access, and an appalling 49th in teen treatment access. Martin said, "Oregon is awash in beer and meth," and he believes the solution is to raise the tax on alcohol, make Sudafed harder to get, and make treatment more accessible.
An 11 yr. OSP narcotics detective also spoke. Officer Kaipo Raiser quipped at one point that he, "could arrest one or two meth users a day," were he "so motivated." He said this with a shoulder shrug, chuckle and grin, apparently to show how overwhelming his job is -- with no end in sight.
Also speaking were Jeff Keinlen, with the local MINT Team Task Force, and Donita Huskey-wilson, from Hood River County Community Justice. Her organization wants to prioritize prevention and treatment -- a concept which was met with resounding applause every time anyone on the panel spoke of it.
Molly Rodgers, with Wasco Cty DCF said that they've seen an increase in the number of offenders 12 and under recently, and that they have the highest rate of child abuse -- placing most of the blame on "drugs and alcohol."
Pat Evenson-Brady, Hood River Superintendent stated, "Schools are a prevention activity in and of themselves." She said when they find a student using drugs, her goal is to get the parents involved, get the child assessed, into treatment, and back in school as quickly as possible. Her solutions to our problems are more money and more staff in the schools.
The Wasco Cty. superintendent, Candy Armstrong, spoke next. She stated that the "drug of choice" in her schools is marijuana, and that the marijuana in her schools is being laced with meth.
Rene DuBoise with Wasco Cty. Dept. of Human Services noted that 70% of foster placements in Wasco Cty. right now are due to meth.
Sharon Guidera was a light in a dark room. She gave me more hope than any other leader on the panel. She's the executive director of the Mid Columbia Center for Living, a group providing community treatment services. She addressed the problems associated with reduced ability to provide services because of budget cuts, and she noted that patients are waiting up to a month for spaces to open up. She said that most meth cases involve alcohol and marijuana use as well as meth. The most interesting statement she made was toward the end. She said that she's seen the popular drugs change every decade, and they just become more and more dangerous. She fears to imagine what drug we'll be battling ten years from now.
During the question and answer period, there was a bit of commotion when Officer Raiser and Ken Magee began speaking about how marijuana is not medicine, and how medical marijuana is a "gateway to meth." It was an interesting evolution of events. At first, there was this Pavlovian round of applause. Then the boo-ing started, and as it grew, the applause just died out. If Mr. Magee could've turned those of us holding signs to stone with his eyes, I think he would've done so at that moment.
But I thought his comment toward the end was rather priceless: "The black market price of Sudafed has more than doubled, so that shows we're doing our job."
Before we left, I gave Mr. Magee a copy of Patients in the Crossfire with my contact info, the ANA statement and a LEAP flyer inside.
Sandee kindly had a bunch of us over to her home afterward, and it gave us a chance to evaluate our efforts for the future and unwind after a rather nauseating display by law enforcement representatives.
Sandee's so excited about the opening of her clinic, it's just contagious! I haven't seen it in person yet, but Bill was out there recently and said it's really lovely. :-)
All in all, we made our presence known!
Remaining events are scheduled in:
Baker City * and Pendleton * on March 4th
*check website for dates and location at: http://www.house.gov/walden/press/index.html
If we challenge any mis-statements about marijuana and medical marijuana, they will certainly take note. I know that this event will be followed by letters to the editor and further communications with local participants and Congressman Walden.
I hope you will join MAMA in our efforts to bring the truth to drug policy. We all enjoyed ourselves and agreed that it was time well spent. Thank you to those from out of town for helping us with this effort.
It was good to see everyone at the 'Summit'. It was mostly on Meth, but there were some attempts to include 'all' drugs. As Sandee pointed out, their lies misrepresentations were met with jeers and 'sign waving'. BTW, the signs are a VERY good idea that I will be implementing here.
The laminated 8 1/2" x 11" signs Sandee had say things like 'Tell The Truth', 'No more lies', etc. They can be carried unseen and with our people dispersed throughout the crowd, they can be displayed when it's appropriate. We're making our point without 'disrupting' the event.
I was trying to conserve my battery power on my Hi-8 camera so therefore I didn't tape the whole presentation. I did get most references to Cannabis on tape and I will be showingthem on our weeklyshow; 'Eugene Cannabis TV' show.
Thanks to all who made it!! Strength in numbers!!
Watch EUGENE CANNABIS TV on Cable Channel 22/29 EVERY WEEK Wed 8:30 pm, Thurs 8:30am, Monday 11
Hi Sandee, I would appreciate it if you would send this notice out on your Oregon activists lists for me.
Sorry for such short notice......
US Congressman Greg Walden (R-Oregon), will be hosting a "Summit on Meth & Marijuana" at the Hood River Middle School Auditorium, 1609 May St., Hood River, Oregon, on this coming Friday, Feb. 18th at 3pm. (Hood River is about an hour east of Portland off I-84)
I would like to encourage Oregon activists to attend this event and help us challenge the prohibitionist idealogy on Greg Walden's home turf. I'm trying to organize the locals here but would appreciate any help from others in the state. The radio ads I've been hearing are Greg Walden's voice asking for parents to come and learn how meth is poisoning their children and how they can help Law Enforcement stamp out meth before meth stamps out someone they love. Two of the local radio stations (Oldies and Classic Rock), are playing only the one ad from Walden. The Counrty & Western station is running a companion ad with a woman's voice inviting people to Walden's summit on meth AND marijuana. I'm assuming that she is from the same group that held a summit on the "New Marijuana" that Sandee Burbank and Wayne Haythorn attend last spring challenging the lies. Sandee and Wayne distributed 40 copies of the book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts at that event. This resulted in a flurry of LTE's in the local paper.
Please come if you can.
To all who have replied,
We are meeting at Safeway coffee shop, 2249 West Cascade Street, Hood River at 2 PM. If you need directions let me know. There are conflicting reports about how long the Town Hall meeting is. In the paper it says from 3 to 4 pm, but on the radio it says 3 to 5 pm. I believe the latter to be true.
Usually they start with an hour of them talking, while they take written questions from the audience. Then they read (some of) those questions to the people on the panel. The panel usually consists of a political figure (Walden) a law enforcement officer or two, someone from the "prevention coalition", a young recovering addict, someone from the medical community, someone from the DA's office and another person or two. They get to control the questions that are asked (They didn't ask the one I wrote last time, which was "Are you really this stupid or are you just lying?") and there is usually no way for any back and forth discussion.
Sometimes when there is a Congressman present, they will randomly call on the audience for questions. One must usually be very quick and aggressive to get called on. Just in case, have a carefully worded question ready BEFORE raising your hand.
Now maybe they are going to do something a bit different like break into groups to come up with solutions or whatever. I've been to so many of these things over the years and I seldom see them bear any real positive results.
I think we need to call them on lies and encourage them to look at the causes of the use, misuse and abuse of drugs. Parental behavior, lack of jobs and job skills, poor educational opportunities, hopelessness, and other stresses.
We need to acknowledge that like other drugs, meth is a problem. But we must show them that prohibition and tougher laws are not the answer. Our jails are already over-full and it is hard to get into treatment without insurance or money.
We will have signs and printed literature to hand out. We should dress well and be friendly and respectful. Please do not come with a hostile attitude, it is not helpful. We must be careful that we do not break the law, speak out of turn or be disruptive. If you are an OMMP patient, it is a good idea to leave your medicine at home, since we will be at a public school.
Sure hope to see you there.
If anyone is planning on being there to challenge inevitable false statements about marijuana, I will be willing to priority-mail some laminated signs and printed handouts to use. Let me know ASAP.
Sandee Burbank, Director
February 18 - SALEM - Rep. Chuck Burley (R-Bend) will be attending a forum focusing on methamphetamine issues, sponsored by U.S. Congressman Greg Walden on Thursday, February 24. He has been asked to speak on the meth issue, focusing on solutions at the state level.
“Our state is just starting to face the harsh reality that methamphetamine use and addiction in Oregon have reached epidemic proportions,” said Rep. Burley. “The legislature plans to work this session to lay the groundwork for curing that epidemic by implementing harsher penalties, making it more difficult for meth producers to acquire the ingredients for meth, and by ensuring that children are as protected as possible from the harmful effects of the production of this drug.”
Rep. Burley recently signed on as a co-sponsor of House Bill 2485 which contains legislative recommendations made by the Governor’s Meth Task Force. It focuses on protecting drug endangered children and on reducing the incidence of meth labs through stiffer penalties and regulating the sale of products used in meth production.
“We will not be successful at solving this problem unless we work together at all levels to find the solution,” said Rep. Burley. “I commend Congressman Walden for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to both providing and receiving information at this forum. I hope we can have an honest and open discussion about the meth problem and about what solutions are out there.
February 17 - WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) will visit central Oregon on February 23 and 24. This will be Walden’s 56th visit to Deschutes County since taking office in 1999; additionally, it will be his 231st round trip between Oregon and Washington, D.C. in that time.
Walden’s schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, February 23 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM: Walden will join the Bend Rotary to celebrate the centennial of Rotary International. A Rotarian himself since 1987, Walden will speak to the group about issues facing the Congress and thank the organization for their dedication to humanitarianism and community service. Location: Bend Golf and Country Club, 61045 Country Club Drive, Bend
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM: Walden, chief sponsor of the Youth Conservation Corps Act of 2004, will tour a fuels reduction project aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic fire near Shevlin Park being conducted by the Heart of Oregon Corps. The Heart of Oregon Corps is Deschutes County’s youth program through the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps. The program takes area youth and teaches them the benefits and ethics of hard work and dedication to a local project. In return, kids are given valuable experience for a possible career in forestland management and a sense of pride for completing a critical project in their local community. Today, Walden received the Congressional Champion Award for his sponsorship of this bill from the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps. Location: Shevlin Sand and Gravel, 63285 Skyline Ranch Road, Bend
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM: Walden will attend a meeting with local business leaders from the community to discuss the vital importance of private sector involvement in civic projects. The round table discussion will provide Walden with an opportunity to hear firsthand about civic projects being completed in the region, to learn what would be helpful to these projects from a federal level, and to encourage the business community to maintain an active role in the development of future civic projects. Location: Crossings at the Riverhouse, 3075 N. Hwy 97, Bend
3:45 PM - 4:30 PM: Walden will visit the Women’s Resource Center of Central Oregon to meet with leaders from the program for a tour and informational meeting about the Center’s operations and services. The Center partners with women in transition who are choosing to make healthy decisions that benefit themselves, their families and the local community. Services they offer include skills training, personal counseling and resource referral. Location: Women’s Resource Center of Central Oregon, 222 SE Urania Lane, Bend
Thursday, February 24 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Walden will host his fourth in a series of seven informative town halls throughout his district dedicated to bringing community members together to discuss the scourge of methamphetamine (meth). Deschutes County has seen more than 40 clandestine meth labs seized in the last few years, and with only 20 percent of the state’s population, the Second District saw 35 percent of all meth labs seized. This is a growing problem that affects urban and rural areas. All taxpayers, not just those who abuse the drug, pay for its devastation. Walden will bring together representatives from law enforcement, anti-drug coalitions, and local, state and federal government to educate and talk with community members about how we can attack this problem at all levels. The general public is invited and encouraged to attend. Location: Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Middle Sisters Room; 38000 SW Airport Way, Redmond
12:45 PM - 2:00 PM: Following his town hall on the fight against meth, Walden will meet with the Central Oregon Law Enforcement Services group to get an update on the history of the methamphetamine problem in central Oregon and learn more specifics about the local fight against this toxic substance. In 1999, Walden worked to help designate Deschutes County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA); at this meeting, he will discuss funding levels for the HIDTA program and the long-term viability of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team. This event is closed to the media due to the sensitive nature of certain law enforcement issues being discussed.
2:15 PM - 3:00 PM: Walden will then join Redmond community leaders for a round table discussion about current issues facing the region. In addition to Walden, attendees will include the Redmond City Council, Deschutes County Commission, State Senator Ben Westlund, State Representatives Chuck Burley and Gene Whisnant, Carrie Novick of the Redmond Airport, Bud Prince of Redmond Economic Development, and Roger Lee of Economic Development for Central Oregon. Location: Redmond Airport, 2522 SW Jesse Butler Circle, Redmond.
Congressman Walden represents the Second District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon. He is a Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.
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