Drug Law

Out-of-State Patients Can Get Oregon Medical Marijuana Cards

| by NORML
From Oregon Legal Committee attorney Leland R. Berger:

In State v. Berringer, (online here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A137186.htm) the Oregon Court of Appeals held that Oregon was not required to give a California patient’s status as a patient ‘full faith and credit’ (reasoning that that status created an affirmative defense within CA only) and that the California patient’s federal constitutional right to travel did not protect this patient from being prosecuted and convicted under Oregon Law.  Although not a part of the holding, the Court also concluded that the application requirements of the law was ambiguous, and resolved that ambiguity by concluding that the law permits out of state patients to register here.

Initially, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), acting on advice of its counsel, the Oregon Attorney General, refused to process out of state patient applications.  But, on June 14, 2010, the Oregon Attorney general issued an opinion (online here: http://www.doj.state.or.us/agoffice/agopinions/op_2010_2.pdf) concluding that:  “(1) The OMMA contains no Oregon residency requirement for obtaining an Oregon registry identification card; and, (2) the Oregon legislature could limit eligibility for Oregon registry identification cards to Oregon residents without violating the federal constitutional right to travel.”

In response, the OMMP has issued (http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ommp/333-008-0020_TEMP.pdf) temporary administrative rules (http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ommp/333-008-0020_TEMP_text.pdf) amending Oregon Administrative Rule 333-00800020) to facilitate the processing of out of state applications.

Tawana Nichols, the Program Director of the OMMP is quoted in The Oregon Politico
(http://theoregonpolitico.com/blog/2010/07/08/medical-marijuana-no-longer-restricted-to-oregon-residents/) acknowledging this change in policy.

Out of state patients who register with the OMMP will still have to have written documentation from an Oregon attending physician (MD or DO) and will have to designate an Oregon location as their grow site (as with Oregon patients, whether they have one or not).