The ACLU testified against HB 3664, which would have significantly rewritten and weakened the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA). We joined other advocates before the House Rules Committee as part of a panel providing invited testimony. Because of the limited time allotted for the hearing, the hearing closed before dozens of others, who had signed up to testify against HB 3664, could testify.

We focused our comments on a few aspects of the proposed law, including one change that would have made it impossible for anyone to use the program. Under HB 3664, a physician would be required to state in his or her recommendation for medical marijuana that its use will mitigate a patient’s symptoms or the effects of the patient’s debilitating medical condition. The current law requires only that a doctor state it may mitigate symptoms or effect condition.

When a physician prescribes any kind of medication to a patient, the physician hopes that it will help the patient’s medical condition. But a physician is not in a position to state that any medication will help. A change from “may” to “will” would have effectively ended the OMMA program because no physician would have recommended the use of medical marijuana if the law required stating unequivocally that use would mitigate symptoms or affect the debilitating condition.

While we know law enforcement continues to look for any opportunity to weaken and undermine the OMMA, there was enough opposition to HB 3664 that the bill died in Committee.