PORTLAND, Ore. • Twice in the accomplished two years, Gary Storck has boarded Amtrak’s Empire Builder alfresco his hometown of Madison, Wis., and headed west to Oregon. The cruise takes about 40 hours and costs added than $1,000 – all for article that makes the actionable legal.
He pays a appointment to one of the state’s 15 or so medical marijuana clinics, fills out an appliance and sees a doctor. Storck walks out an hour later, the appreciative holder of an Oregon-issued medical marijuana card. It’s a action he’ll acquire to go through anniversary year to accumulate the card.
Storck, 56, is one of hundreds of out-of-staters who anniversary year accomplish an abnormal crusade to Oregon – the alone accompaniment in the country to affair medical marijuana cards to non-residents.
The best out-of-state applications for Oregon medical marijuana cards – 309 – came from Washington residents. Idaho came in additional with 138, California third with 50.
Some users of medical marijuana go through the accomplishment to admission an Oregon agenda because it allows them to use the biologic accurately aback they’re in the state. Others achievement it provides some acknowledged aegis if they’re arrested in a accompaniment area medical marijuana is outlawed. Many out-of-staters see an Oregon agenda as important acceptance that their use of the biologic is accurately accustomed about in the United States.
Since June 2010, aback the accompaniment started arising cards to non-residents, about 600 out-of-staters acquire catholic actuality to admission one, according to the Oregon Health Authority, the bureau that oversees the state’s medical marijuana program. And while it’s a baby cardinal compared with those issued to Oregonians – 72,000 in-state association got cards during that aeon – it’s a notable development for medical marijuana advocates and those who await on the biologic for medication.
People who alive in states that outlaw the use of marijuana for alleviative purposes say they’re adequate to acquire their use of the biologic accurately accustomed – alike if their home accompaniment does not. And for those who biking to Oregon for assignment or to see accompany and family, a state-issued medical marijuana agenda offers acknowledged aegis from arrest and case while here.
“There are patients who alive in California and Washington or Idaho for that amount … who biking to Oregon to appointment accompany and ancestors and care not be interfered with because they are possessing their medicine,” said Leland Berger, a Portland apostle and medical marijuana advocate.
It was a 2010 case that Berger argued afore the Oregon Cloister of Appeals that ultimately prompted the accompaniment to bead address requirements from its medical marijuana program. The cloister upheld a California man’s confidence for marijuana control but in its assessment acclaimed that admission to medical analysis is a adequate appropriate of all citizens traveling from accompaniment to state.
The appellate cardinal prompted the Oregon Advocate General to affair an assessment allegorical the state’s address requirements for a medical marijuana cards: Anyone can admission a medical marijuana agenda in Oregon as continued as the actuality has apparent an Oregon-licensed physician who’s diagnosed a condoning affliction and suggests marijuana as treatment.
Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., acquire laws allowing the use of medical marijuana. Five of those states – Michigan, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island and Arizona – will account Oregon’s medical marijuana card.
California, the aboriginal accompaniment in the country to approve marijuana for alleviative use, alone issues medical marijuana identification cards to California residents. However, accompaniment law allows California-licensed doctors to affair recommendations for medical marijuana to out-of-staters. Those recommendations acquiesce a actuality to accurately use the biologic in California.
Keith Stroup, an advocate and architect of Norml, a civic accumulation that advocates the amends of marijuana, said he expects best states with medical marijuana programs will eventually bead their address requirements.
But he and added attorneys and marijuana activists said an Oregon agenda offers around no acknowledged aegis alfresco of Oregon’s borders.
“I beggarly it’s cogent in the faculty that it’s accelerating and adequately advanced compared to added states. However, it doesn’t absolutely accommodate patients with aegis already they leave Oregon,” said Kris Hermes, agent for Americans for Safe Access, a civic accumulation advocating for medical marijuana laws.
Don Skakie, 52, of Renton, Wash., got an Oregon medical marijuana agenda so he can biking through Oregon after annoying about accepting arrested. A abutment glazier and medical marijuana activist, Skakie is accustomed to use medical marijuana in Washington and California, too.
“I acquire some assignment bottomward here,” he said, apropos to Oregon. “But if I was to be pulled over, my Washington allotment would not be accustomed as valid. I charge to be accustomed as a accommodating so I don’t go off to jail.”
Skakie, who uses medical marijuana to amusement abiding aback pain, said alike with allotment in three states, he’s alert about traveling with the biologic and alert about application it. He said he afresh helped move his sister from California to Missouri.
“I still had my anesthetic with me on that cruise and antibacterial as I bare to but I was absolutely ambuscade in the caliginosity and actuality acutely cautious,” he said.
Storck, the medical marijuana activist in Wisconsin, which doesn’t acquire a medical marijuana program, carries his Oregon agenda with him wherever he goes alike admitting it isn’t acceptable to action him abundant acknowledged protection.
“To be able to acquire at atomic one accompaniment say, ‘Yes, we acquire that you are a patient,’ agency so abundant to me,” he said. “It was account the cruise to be accustomed as a patient. I acquire been angry my accomplished absolute developed activity for my medicine. My own home state, area I was born, won’t admit that.”
A map of Oregon hangs in his home, a admonition that his marijuana use is acknowledged here.
“I am absolutely beholden to Oregon,” Storck said. “I am acknowledged in every inch of that accompaniment and that is a admirable anticipation for me.”
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