Last year Oregon elected a new US Attorney, Amanda Marshall. Marshall is concerned that there is not enough regulation of approved medical marijuana growing operations to ensure that the system is not being abused by drug traffickers.
Marshall’s office estimated that there are approximately 100 collectives located in Oregon, the majority of which are located near Portland, the most highly populated city in the state.
The new US Attorney has stated that, “Pounds and pounds and pounds of marijuana are being shipped out of Oregon, not to sick people needing cards but to drug dealers who are selling it, who are laundering money, who are evading taxes.”
Medical marijuana law was passed in Oregon in 1998, but Marshall thinks that there are not enough regulations in place to ensure that the system is not abused. In addition, there are not the funds, nor the infrastructure in place, to follow up with collective owners who are suspected to be manipulating the system.
Marshall is not opposed to medical marijuana, but she is concerned that the system is being taken advantage of in a way that could jeopardize safe access for patients.
Despite her belief that the system needs to be changed, Marshall isn’t taking drastic measures to achieve that change. She has said, “‘I’m not here to say this law is good or bad or to suggest future legislation or future policy direction. People say, ‘You’re US Attorney, are you going to go after marijuana?’ No, I’m not.”
Legally, patients in Oregon are allowed to grow up to 6 marijuana plants at a time, and they are allowed to possess 24 ounces of marijuana at a time. Marshall believes that when voters approved the law, they didn’t understand the huge yields that plants could have, should they be grown by experts.