Updated on January 7, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
On November 03, 1998, Ballot Measure 67 was approved. It effectively removed all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who meet medical marijuana qualifications in Oregon and possess a signed recommendation from an Oregon licensed Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO). This recommendation must state that marijuana “may mitigate” his or her debilitating symptoms.
Once patients have received certification from their physician, patients are required to register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Patient Registry program, administered by the Oregon Department of Health Services (DHS).
Patients in Oregon diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under Oregon’s medical marijuana law, as per Ballot Measure 67 — “The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program”:
Patients meeting medical marijuana qualifications in Oregon were encouraged by an April 2017 decision by state legislators to protect users from having their weed-purchasing habits and identities divulged by the dispensaries where they make their purchases. This means that the practice of dispensaries keeping a “digital trail” of purchases must end. These dispensaries routinely keep information such as the names, birthdates and addresses of pot buyers, taking that information from their drivers’ licenses.
Businesses typically use customers’ personal data for marketing purposes. However, legislators worried this would not only violate a customer’s right to privacy, but it could potentially make them vulnerable to federal prosecution. Legislators were concerned about signals from Washington, D.C. that the federal government would take a more proactive role in enforcing federal marijuana laws, and they didn’t want people who legally buy weed in Oregon to be susceptible to arrest.