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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Portland Community College is hosting a public discussion titled "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation" on February 22, 2008 sponsored by the Washington chapter of the ACLU and the travel writer Rick Steves. Here is a summary of the email I received:

"Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation"
Rick Steves - film moderator

Friday, February 22nd - 6 PM
Portland Community College
2305 SE 82nd Ave
Tabor - Rooms 143/144

Meet Alison Chin Holcomb, who helped quash the federal subpoena for patient records and is the Marijuana Education Project Director-ACLU of Washington Foundation. We are honored to have Ms. Holcomb show the DVD and lead a discussion.

Across the nation, people are beginning to reconsider our marijuana laws. In 2006, America set a new record by arresting over 800,000 individuals for marijuana offenses; 89% of these arrests were for simple possession only.
Marijuana remains as available as ever through an unregulated illegal market. Enforcement of marijuana laws costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year – precious public safety resources that could be directed toward more important priorities and more effective policies.

“Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation” invites viewers to consider whether these laws are working for us or against us.

* What does marijuana law enforcement cost us in tax dollars?
* How effective is prohibition at controlling marijuana use and availability?
* What are the social consequences of marijuana prohibition?
* Are the consequences of marijuana arrests and convictions fair? Are the laws applied fairly to all Americans?
* How did we end up with these laws in the first place?
* Is marijuana prohibition doing more harm than good?

Sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union and featuring noted travel writer and television host Rick Steves, moderates “Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation” and begins a long-overdue public discussion about marijuana and marijuana prohibition.

Alison Chin Holcomb, Marijuana Education Project Director-ACLU of Washington Foundation and who help quash the Federal subpoena for patients' records will show the 30 minute DVD and lead a discussion about how all of us might best be able to use this resource to spark public conversations about our marijuana laws.

The Seattle Times has an article about the ACLU and Rick Steves and explains why Washington state has launched this campaign.

Washington was considered a good place to launch a campaign to discuss marijuana laws because it's viewed as being on the cutting edge of drug legislation, the ACLU's Alison Chinn Holcomb said. A law allowing medical-marijuana use was approved by state voters in 1998, and in 2003 Seattle voters approved Initiative 75, which made the adult use of marijuana a low priority for law enforcement.

Washington's medical-marijuana law and similar ones in 11 other states are not recognized by the federal government. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling said states cannot enact laws that supersede federal criminal laws — in this case the Controlled Substances Act. So despite voter approval, even getting medical marijuana is legally risky, ACLU members say. Seattle Times Link

In other Oregon Medical Marijuana News....a bill to address the problem of medical marijuana and the workplace failed in Oregon's Legislature this week. The bill was narrow in its inclusion of a variety of occupations. Medical Marijuana patients that are also working are unsure if they have the right to require employers to provide smoking accommodations.

This is a sticky issue and I think it also needs to be judged case by case. I have no problem with an office worker having to toke on breaks for chronic pain or glaucoma and such but most workers who use dangerous equipment or machinery should limit their smoking to after work. Most medical marijuana users that I have met are super conscientious workers and do not want their situation to affect their income and are grateful for type of employment they can acquire. Since I rebel against control freaks I consider this a personal responsibility issue and more importantly; a confidential situation that involves only your employer and yourself.

A bill to limit the use of medical marijuana in the workplace has gone up in smoke.

The bill would have expanded an employer's ability to prohibit the use of medical marijuana by workers in jobs deemed hazardous by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including construction, law enforcement, forest services and some manufacturing. KGW Link

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