Pubdate: Fri, 27 Apr 2012
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2012 The Oregonian
Pubdate: 27 Apr 12
Author: Ken Hoffman


Thank you for the article on medical marijuana outlets ("Cracks in 
law filled with weed," April 22). I was not aware of any medical 
marijuana outlets in Oregon, but I am acutely aware of the need for them.

I'm writing to address the money matters implied in the article, 
specifically that the dispensaries are operating with a "clear 
profit." That may be so, but because this is my month to renew my 
annual registration as an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patient, I 
am aware of another "for profit" player.

The fee this year jumped from $100 to $200, plus a new $50 grower 
registration fee. This more than doubles my cost. Was there an 
increase in service as well? The answer is no. In fact, the renewal 
letter states:

"On March 5, 2012, The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program closed its 
customer service window at the Portland State Office Building. OMMP 
applicants and cardholders are no longer able to submit payments or 
paperwork in person to the OMMP."

If this fee increase is combined with the physician consultation fees 
that are often charged if your own primary physician is not involved, 
the costs can exceed $500. I'm not sure, as I am a very low-volume 
user, but this may be more than a misdemeanor citation for possession.

I don't blame OMMP for taking fees that were allocated to them, but 
how did this ever get passed?

It should be understood that OMMP patients as a group are disabled, 
sick, in pain (maybe dying) and likely on fixed or no income. Yet we 
carry an increased financial burden to stay "legal" in our use of 
medical marijuana.

Patient fees should be dramatically reduced or eliminated. I don't 
mind a "fair" cost, as we all expect to pay for medicine, but these 
are just paperwork fees to the OMMP because, as the article makes 
clear, it does not include any actual medicine.

I don't know the answer, but I am now aware that the OMMP fees are 
almost cost-prohibitive.

Ken Hoffman

Southeast Portland
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