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03.21.13 Pot, Policies and Protests

On April 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear SB 281. This bill “adds post-traumatic stress disorder to definition of “debilitating medical condition” for purposes of statutes authorizing medical use of marijuana.”

OFF takes no position on marijuana, but we are concerned about the gun rights of veterans. Persons who use medical marijuana lose their gun rights under Federal law. We think it’s important that any bill that expands marijuana use to those dealing with PTSD should clearly warn the users of the threat to their liberties.

This bill was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee from the Health and Human Services Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation.  Please  contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask that they consider amendments that would include a warning in the language of the bill to protect veterans. The Committee’s contact info is available here.

Last night, the St. Helens School Board adopted a policy to guarantee that children and school employees in their district will be every bit as vulnerable as the kids who were massacred in Connecticut. In a 3-2 vote, they implemented a policy forbidding employees, contractors and volunteers from having the means to respond to an attack.  It’s hard to imagine any responsible person concluding that this policy is anything other than a recipe for disaster, but they did it. Voting to protect the kids were Ray Biggs and Marshall Porter. Voting to put targets on the backs of children and school workers were Allen King, Matt Freeman and Nathan Helwig. St Helens voters will have an opportunity to elect School Board members who actually care about the kids soon. Ballots for school board will go out May 5 and are due back May 21.  We have been informed that at least one solid pro-gun candidate, Traci Brumbles, will be in the race. These kinds of policies demonstrate how important these races can be. (Interestingly, St. Helens Girls Softball League seem to have more brains than the majority of the school board.)

Finally,  yesterday the Deschutes County Democrats sent out an email asking for folks to come and protest against NRA fundraisers that are scheduled for Saturday March 23. The email says ” Concerned citizens will be protesting the proliferation of guns in our society and the increasing violence that accompanies this. Gun safety advocates are asked to be on the sidewalk in front of the Convention Center from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. and 4 p.m.-5 p.m. on saturday.(sic)”

The email goes on to say :

“We endorse the banning of high capacity magazines and assault weapons and for the creation of a federal registry for all gun transactions. We also endorse the printing of serial numbers on all ammunition.”  It then comically adds the following:

“We do not want to take away everyone’s guns. This is not a partisan issue. It is a human rights issue, public health issue and a safety issue. More guns equals more violence. We ask all patriotic citizens to join with us against the bullying tactics of the N.R.A. The N.R.A. has lost its way.  They are no longer about sportsmanship and gun safety, but have evolved into a lucrative money making lobby for the armaments industry…..Anyone interested in attending or helping Jim organize the event can contact him at 541-389-9163

Included in the email was a request that folks join a march for same sex marriage:

From our friends at PFLAG:

Join PFLAG Central Oregon in Bend, Oregon for a local march for marriage equality! Let’s show our support nationally and right here in Oregon!

Where: Corner of Newport & Wall St. in downtown Bend

When: Saturday, March 23

Time: 10AM – 12PM

Bring your signs!


or join our facebook event:

Together we can make history!

Looks like Bend is about to be a hotbed of protests.  We’re going to go out on a limb here and bet that the PFLAG folks get lots more participants than the gun banners do.