By H. MARC ADAMS

What started as a law to allow the very sick to use marijuana to self-medicate has been hijacked by modern day bootleggers whose sole purpose is to make money.

The fact is, for every ill person who needs the medicinal affects of marijuana there are dozens of people who are growing, selling and smoking marijuana for its intoxicating effects and who are profiting by hiding behind the “medical marijuana” smoke screen.

Marijuana caregivers and growers are making tens of thousands of dollars selling marijuana that was supposed to go to the desperately ill.  The average Oregon citizen has no idea that:

• A medical marijuana patient is allowed to have in their possession 24 ounces of marijuana.

• Medical marijuana card holders can legally possess hashish.

• A child with parental permission can get a medical marijuana card and then legally possess marijuana

• There are 36,380 Oregonians who have medical marijuana cards and over 5,000 applications pending.

•Sixty percent of patients seeking addiction treatment in Oregon last year were seeking treatment for marijuana addiction.

• Doctors don’t prescribe marijuana. Doctors “recommend” patients for a medical marijuana card and only a few doctors do.

• The majority of medical marijuana card referrals are made by only ten doctors in all of Oregon.

Medical marijuana is not about medicine, it is about money and drug induced intoxication.

Measure 74 will create a system where marijuana farmers can become licensed by the State of Oregon to grow and distribute marijuana crops to marijuana dispensaries in the state.

Specifically, the initiative would allow the establishment of privately owned, non-profit dispensaries.

Don’t let the words non-profit fool you, check California dispensaries who do $25,000,000 a year in sales and whose owners are pulling down six figure salaries.

Proponents for Measure 74 will tell you this new and improved way to obtain marijuana and will allow sick people to obtain their medicine without having to deal with unscrupulous growers.  What it will do is allow thousands of recreational pot smokers to swing by their local pot shop and purchase marijuana.

Measure 74 would allow a person who is convicted of a felony for manufacture or delivery of illegal drugs to be licensed as a producer, director or employee of a dispensary.  Only drug felony convictions after the effective date of the act would prevent these individuals from receiving a license.

Measure 74 states that initially dispensaries shall not be established within 1,000 feet of any school or within residential neighborhoods.  This language suggests that eventually these dispensaries could be located close to schools and in neighborhoods.

Marijuana is a scheduled drug and the only scheduled drug that the law allows users to self administer at anytime without any recommended dosage amounts. Controlled medicine – be it marijuana or oxycodone – needs to be produced under controlled, regulated conditions and distributed by physicians and pharmacists.

The supporters of Measure 74 suggest the taxing of medical marijuana will make money for the state.  A recent California study showed that for every $1 raised in revenue for cigarettes and alcohol resulted in $9 negative economic impact to the state involving job productivity, health issues, treatment and crime.

Measure 74 is a confusing and poorly worded measure that will make the illegal distribution and use of marijuana even more difficult to enforce.

Your sheriffs, chiefs of police, and district attorneys have thoroughly researched ballot Measure 74 and we encourage you to vote no on Measure 74.

Adams is Keizer’s chief of police.  He serves as co-chair of the  Legislative Committee with the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police.