Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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AG HARDY MYERS RELEASES LIST OF LEGAL ISSUES ARISING FROM U.S. SUPREME COURT OPINION CONCERNING OREGON'S MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW

June 14, 2005

Attorney General Hardy Myers today released a list of legal issues arising in the wake of the United States' Supreme Court's recent opinion affirming federal authority to prosecute Oregonians for violation of federal laws prohibiting the possession and cultivation of marijuana. The questions being analyzed by the Attorney General at the request of the Department of Human Services are:

  1. Does the Gonzales v. Raich decision invalidate the Oregon statutes authorizing operation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program?
  2. Should there be operational changes in the program in light of Raich?
  1. May the program resume issuing registry identification cards?
  2. Does the decision require alteration of the program's current procedures for communicating with local, state and federal law enforcement?
  3. Does the program have a legal duty to communicate to registrants or applicants that state law does not protect patients from potential federal prosecution?

"We began work on these issues immediately," Myers said. "We already know that the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion does not preempt state law. Oregon's medical marijuana statutes continue to prevent state and local officials from prosecuting under state law qualified medical marijuana users who are in compliance with Oregon's medical marijuana program," said Myers. "The questions will help us organize the remainder of our analysis of the implications of the United States Supreme Court's opinion."

Since Oregon's medical marijuana program began operation in 1998, Myers' office has published two editions of guidelines for law enforcement officials and the public. The current edition, issued to law enforcement in February 2005 and not yet updated to take into account last week's Supreme Court decision, is posted on the Attorney General's website at: www.doj.state.or.us.

Contact:

Kevin Neely, Justice, (503) 378-6002
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