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oregon elections 2004

Local community activist Mark Lakeman discusses local election issues/candidates on portland indymedia webradio

Mark Lakeman, well known for his work in City Repair, who ran for City Commissioner in the Spring primary for Randy Leonard's seat (coming in second), appeared on portland indymedia web radio today to talk about all the local initiatives appearing on the Oregon ballot this cycle. Measures 31-38 were discussed, as well as the Portland Mercury's bizarre (or was it?) endorsement of Francesconi for Mayor.

The results? The group was split on Measures 31-33, but agreed on the following: Yes on 34, No on 35, No on 36, a HUGE No on 37, and No on 38. For Mayor, Potter, and for City Commissioner, Sam Adams.

You can listen to an archive of the show here.

This broadcast was the latest installment of "On the Air" with spArk & Deva, a semi-regular interview show for portland indymedia webradio, which recently featured an interview with Peter Phillips of Project Censored.

Props to the Reverend Love for appearing on this show, as well, and offering his strongly anti-authoritarian perspective.

Wrong on 33 27.Oct.2004 19:13


Jesus you guys got 33 wrong! Do people really read the voters pamphlet anymore?

Read section 2, subsection 7: "'Medical marijuana dispensary' means a nonprofit entity that possesses, produces, delivers, transports, supplies, and/or dispenses medical marijuana to patients and their designated medical marijuana caregivers, and to other medical marijuana dispensaries. 'Medical marijuana dispensary' includes any employees or agents of such a nonprofit entity."

A medical marijunaa dispensary NEED NOT be an arm of the government! You or your friends or anyone else could start one. Most of the rest of the text concerning the dispensaries is pretty much common sense regulations whose purpose is to address potential criticisms of opponents that such dispensaries would automatically degenerate into mere drug trafficking rings. Thus, it says things like, "A medical marijuana dispensary may not possess, deliver or transport marijuana for any purpose except to assist patients with registry identification cards in their medical use of marijuana or to assist designated medical marijuana caregivers in supplying usable marijuana to qualified patients." (Section 4, subsection 1).

The reason the Libertarians don't like it is that it requires counties where private citizens and nonprofit groups don't step forward to run such dispensaries to run such dispensaries on the public dime. That can be criticized, if only because most of the pro-medical marijuana people I've heard criticize the initiative (including the editorial in the Willie Week) focussed on this one provision. Perhaps in their zeal to promote access to medical marijuana, the authors of this initiative went too far. It's debatable. But I don't see this one provision leading to "government takeover" of medical marijuana or anything else. (The Libertarians don't like the government running ANYTHING but police and (MAYBE) fire services.)

As to the one person who coauthored the original medical marijuana initiative, and wrote the opinion in the voters pamphlet AGAINST this one, reread her opinion. She explicitly condemns this initiative for being "closet legalization." It's clear that what she really worries about is arguments of anti-marijuana crusaders gaining credibility if the passage of the initiative allows more marijuana to be diverted to recreational drug users. She thinks that this will ultimately endanger the rights of real patients who "really need" marijuana. But it's clear that any program that allows people to buy marijuana would create such a danger. And these dispensaries, even though this law will require them to be nonprofit, will STILL have costs. It's completely legitimate to allow them to charge for their services. There's also nothing in the law that stops anyone from charging NOTHING, if people get together and form a dispensary that can figure out ways to recoup costs without charging patients.

As far as I can see, the only real reason this initiative would be opposed by anyone other than libertarians is due to the still ongoing jihad against marijuana, and all the fear and hysteria generated by it.

Re: Meaure 33: further proof PEOPLE DON'T READ 27.Oct.2004 19:19


Also, if you actually bothered to read the argument by Stormy Ray (author of the original OMMA) in OPPOSITION to 33, she says very explicitly: "[if 33 is passed] today's illegal black market will become tomorrow's dispensaries." So obviously, Stormy Ray knows that DISPENSARIES ARE NOT GOVERNMENT RUN. In fact, she objects all the more to 33 PRECISELY BECAUSE dispensaries can be run by anyone under this initiative.

Initiative 33 27.Oct.2004 23:46


In the show they were split on 33 so only some got it wrong as you put it. I suppose the commercialization of medical marijuana is inevitable, but I am not sure myself if I want to hurry it along. Then again, I don't have a terribly painful disease to deal with.

YES on 33 for dignity and human rights 28.Oct.2004 09:03

Teresa Keane PGP US Senate candidiate

All, as a nurse practitioner with a clinical specialty in pain management, I know suffering patients benefit from marijuana. In a just society, how can we deny access? Patients should not be victims of our failed "war on drugs." Vote YES on Measure 33.

the need for 33 28.Oct.2004 09:37


Everyone who acknowledges the value of medical marijuana also acknowledges that the current rules are too restrictive and deny many people access in Oregon. People who are sick or terminally ill may not always be able to get out in a garden to grow their own plants. They may not be able to go out and socialize and meet lots of other people who are already growing their own plants. They need to be able to go to a walk-in location where they can either buy or be given marijuana free-of-charge, by people who are not necessarily patients themselves. THAT'S ALL THAT THIS INITIATIVE DOES! I was really disturbed by the cavalier and unsupported statements against 33 that I heard on the program, a program that is purporting to help progressive people vote progressive. People who object to 33 have an obligation to propose a better alternative. None of the attacks I've heard have done this. The objections they've offered are not convincing in proving that any drawbacks to 33 would outweigh its important benefits to sick people who desperately need relief.

this show was very helpful 29.Oct.2004 16:14

and so were the comments

Thanks guys. I misplaced my "voter's pamphlet" -- or never got one, or something. This was really helpful. Thanks to the commenters as well.