Someone called the Mercury this afternoon asking for a list of 4/20 parties. I don't know any. I also don't know where you can find the best grilled cheese sandwich in town or which video stores still have copies of Pineapple Express on the shelves.
But I do want to say that every morning, my commute takes me past a sad scene. First, at the bottom of a hill in Sunnyside, I unmistakably smell pot on the wind. Which is not so weird because it's Sunnyside, but is unusual for nine o'clock in the morning.
On the hill is a home for people with disabilities and on the street outside, every morning, is a man in a wheelchair sitting and smoking pot. Sometimes he's alone, sometimes he's with a friend, but it's always a strange scene to come across. He's a testament to a loophole in Oregon's medical marijuana law: while it is legal to grow and use medical marijuana in this state, many facilities don't allow their patients to smoke up inside. You're also not allowed to smoke pot in public. That leaves patients in limbo.
When I sat through perhaps the longest meeting of my life a few months ago at the Cannabis Cafe, listening to heavily-medicated individuals try to coordinate a volunteer schedule and payment system, a lot of the people in the room excited about the Cafe were veterans. They go to the Veterans Hospital for treatment and those who own cars can trudge outside to smoke in their vehicles. But patients without cars can smoke on the street and face arrest, but many wind up crouching in bushes or behind trees to light up.
More than ten years after legalizing medical marijuana, our state still has loopholes that punish users. Just this week, the state Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana users can legally be fired for smoking pot. Look, Oregon, let's agree that pot is either valid medicine or it's not. Since we've been saying "yes" for 12 years, I think it's high time that no disabled person should have to shiver outside in the cold morning to take his meds.
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