The answer to the forgotten question
By Pioneer Pete Gendron
August 6, 2018 – By now everyone not only in the state, but also nationally, has been alerted. The assertion—that Oregon has lots of extra weed, and is shipping it out cheap. Some have no doubt made inquiries just based on the media coverage. No, those people in the various regulatory and licensing programs in Oregon–by and large–aren’t sending you any in the mail. But ‘diversion’ as it has been asserted by our federal agent is the topic of the day here.
This discussion ignores another, larger problem. In a state which is reportedly flush with pot, the OMMP is losing patients. Caregivers and providers are not able to care for Oregon medical patients despite the fact that we are drowning in OLCC surplus cannabis. The medical program is set to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary, but patient numbers are down by more than half from their peak. People that have relied on the OMMP are being lost in the ‘greed rush’ and going without. I find this to be unconscionable.
There are several shortcomings with Oregon’s attempts to regulate distribution, and with the programs themselves. This is partially the fault of the state agencies, and also the fault of market forces created by the illegal, immoral and unethical federal scheduling of cannabis.
Instead of complaining and discussing the he-said/she-said details of why everyone thinks they’re ‘right’ about the ‘problem’ I would like to submit a solution. A solution designed to take on the primary concerns of the federal attorney Billy Williams office directly, help Oregon find legal and willing recipients for it’s surplus, fix some problems with the OHA’s oversight of OMMP, and allow the State to put control of the balance where it belongs–in the hands of those capable of dealing with it. Oregon, by her own admission, isn’t.
So, allow me to introduce a private endeavor designed to ameliorate the very public ‘problem’ with a very practical set of solutions.
Yes, you must have some patience to be out standing in your field. And Project:Scarecrow (P:S) intends to help first all of Oregon’s OMMP patients by being outstanding in our field. This isn’t just some ‘straw man’ with no legs. This defender of the crop, Oregon’s most valuable produce, is a defender of the people. What point would there be in protecting the crop if it were not for the people’s benefit? P:S is built to help patients, and in doing so be a benefit to the greater community. (Yes, even the state and federal complainers.)
Project:Scarecrow, as a non-profit, will be a benefit to all of the individuals and business that participate in it, and by joining P:S you’ll be helping patients. What if I told you that it IS possible to get the OLCC ‘oversupply’ of ‘mids’ (according to some) in to the hands of low income Oregonians that rely on cannabis as medication and are currently using less or going without? This would reduce inventory, help with price pressure, and reduce diversion, right?
What if I told you that the OMMP is already forecasting budget problems due to reduced patient numbers, and we can fix that in part with P:S participation? In fact, P:S as designed would help bring many patients back in to the OMMP to gain the full benefits of the program, at no cost to Oregon.
What if I told you that a small, thoughtful, dedicated group has been working on this for two years, and now the Project is ready to launch? What if I told you that the base of support is growing daily from people in the medical cannabis community. From people that are sick of seeing our patients not just neglected, but denied, access to a life benefiting crop that Oregon has in abundance? What if I told you that Growers, Processors, and Retailers in the OLCC will and are coming to this program daily and offering help and support for our patients?
Pinch Yourself! It’s Real!
Here’s the general concept: To begin current OMMP patients can sign up free as members, and are eligible to receive donations. This is the starting point. OLCC licensees can donate material that will be distributed to these patients. P:S can facilitate these transfers of OLCC production to patients, beginning with the means tested patients qualified for low income cards. That’s about half of the current and historical population of the OMMP.
As participation increases from OLCC licensees, and OMMP growers reporting in METRC, P:S will be able to expand distribution to the rest of the OMMP cardholders. Not just distribution specifically, but being able to turn some of those ‘mids’ in the system that are just a bunch of cheap weight into products that have actual medicinal value. Then provide them to patients at low to no cost to the patient. Reducing the ‘oversupply’ and turning it in to medicine.
Oregon can support this in part because it will reduce the ‘oversupply’ and in part because it won’t cost the state directly. In fact helping people reduce or eliminate the use of prescription medications is a direct benefit to the OHP, OHA, and the taxpayers of Oregon all the way around! It won’t take tax dollars away from marijuana revenue because the people we are talking about can’t afford, and often can’t access, the OLCC retailers themselves.
This is a real win-win-win.
We can reduce the oversupply and alleged diversion. We can manage the resource that Oregon is so famous for. We can do it for the benefit of our most vulnerable populations. And we can do it all through private enterprise with no additional government regulations or requirements needed!
Our medical patients have been neglected too long by the OHA/OMMP, the OLCC regulatory structure is unfit for handling patient’s needs, and the feds are beside themselves with worry. It’s time the people in charge put people in charge who are capable of being in charge.
Project:Scarecrow. Protecting Freedom.
Are you with us?
Pioneer Pete Gendron.