The number of Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders has nearly tripled in the past three years, and the growth trend also is present in the mid-Willamette Valley.
In that time, Oregon and Linn and Benton counties all saw an increase of about 165 percent in medical marijuana patients.
Officials with the Oregon Health Authority, which administers the program, said that the agency tracks figures but doesn’t analyze them.
State Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, took a dim view of the increase in cardholders — though he emphasized that he supports medical marijuana.
“I think what you are seeing is a serious track of abuse going on throughout the state right now,” said Olson, a former lawman with the Oregon State Police.
Olson noted that out-of-state residents can get cards in Oregon, said that doctors need to be held more accountable in recommending the drug, and that minors using medical marijuana need to be evaluated frequently by a pediatrician.
Efforts to change how medical marijuana is handled in Oregon might be overtaken by events, though. Oregon voters will decide in November whether to legalize the drug.
The Drug Policy Alliance, which is advocating more liberal drug laws in the United States, could not be reached for comment.
Filed Under: DRUG WAR
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