Keizer May Intervene With Oregon Voter Passed Law

October 16, 2007

Neal Feldman, OpEd, Salem News (OR)

Chuck Lee of Keizer, Oregon needs to mind his own business! This ex Keizer city councilman is all up in arms because a homeowner with a fence that borders McNary High School property is a fully legal grower for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) and was victimized by a burglar who stole some of his entirely legal property... harvest from the marijuana plants he grows for four program participants.

If that which was stolen was almost anything else Mr Beasley, the homeowner, had owned the focus would be where it rightfully belongs...

innocent homeowner victimized by burglar, what shall we do to crack down on this kind of crime?

But because Mr Beasley is a legal marijuana grower for legal participants in the legal Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (note all the references to LEGAL?) according to Mr Lee the issue is not the city's failure to protect Mr Beasley's property and legal rights. No, according to Mr Lee the issue is to prevent Mr Beasley (and anyone like him) from engaging in entirely legal activities with entirely legal property in his own home on his own property.

I think it is abundantly clear that although the Oregon Medical Marijuana law was passed resoundingly by Oregon's voters not once but TWICE, that Mr Lee is an opponent of the law and likely voted against it both times. This is what I call Sore Loser Syndrome. His side lost the votes so he goes about trying to harass those who won, trying to make it hard if not impossible for them to do what the law allows.

Mr Beasley did not advertise his grow spot, and once it was attacked he put up tarps to obscure the plants from school view. Mr Beasley is not setting up a "Pot Stand" at the fence selling through the cyclone barrier dime bags to the student body at McNary HS.

What should be happening is the school should be taking steps to control the illegal activities of their students against law abiding citizens such as Mr Beasley.

It is interesting that this is not the tack that Mr Lee has chosen.

Interesting indeed.

Mr Lee claims he is not against the OMMP yet wants to ban grow sites from within 1000 feet of a school. Considering all the public and private schools in the Salem/Keizer area and how spread out they are this 'simple rule' of his would mean that well over 75% of homes would not be able to be used. And of the few that would remain available all opponents of the OMMP would need to do is start up schools in strategically located sites to pretty much eliminate any and all potential grow sites. And without grow sites those who under the OMMP have every right to their medicine will find the medicine nearly impossible to get.

And of course it is an incredibly small step to go from no grow sites within 1000 feet of a school to no use of the medication within 1000 feet of schools.

Which would for all intents and purposes kill the OMMP. Which is clearly what, in his incremental manner, Mr Lee seeks to do.

Keizer police spokesman Capt. Jeff Kuhns has said "that although police found that the medical marijuana provider was in compliance with state law, he has received feedback from many Keizer residents about the issue." I am not surprised he has received feedback. There were many who voted against the laws that produced the OMMP and I think it is quite obvious that Mr Lee riled up opponents to give their 'feedback'.

As Mr Lee stated, he "wrote the letter as a private citizen, submitted the letter to city officials before news of the theft was made public."

He said he heard about the grower "more than three weeks ago."

How interesting. He heard about the grower more than three weeks ago. One might even suggest that the burglary might have been formented by Mr Lee or one of his OMMP opposing cronies to bring the issue into the spotlight so that he could make his play to harass not only this one legal grower, Mr Beasley, but any and every other legal grower as well.

What Mr Lee wants is to treat LEGAL growers of a LEGAL product the same as those who possess and deliver ILLEGAL drugs.

I presume anyone who voted against the medical marijuana laws will support his actions and those who voted in favor will oppose his actions. But the state government should oppose his actions because his actions go against not only the laws of the state of Oregon but also the resounding decision of the Oregon voters not once but TWICE!

It is unacceptable to allow sore losers in initiative or legislative campaigns to undermine the passed laws by enacting ordinances or other obstacles which only seek to harass those who are just attempting to follow the laws.

If Mr Lee is afraid of Mr Beasley or other growers illegally selling to high school students then they can monitor for such. It is already a crime for him to do so.

But the proposal of Mr Lee does nothing but put an odious and undue burden upon those legally participatring in the OMMP. And whether you personally approve of or oppose the law it IS THE LAW. That should mean something.

Mr Lee calls it a 'loophole' that Mr Beasley is able to grow legally on his home property. Does Mr Lee know what the definition of a 'loophole' is? It implies being able to do something unintended. What unintended action is Mr Beasley doing? What difference does it make where the grow sites are so long as they are not making the harvests available to those not legally allowed to access them? There is no 'loophole'.

There is just the sophistry of an OMMP opponent seeking to use this as a wedge to attack and harass the OMMP as well as its entirely legal and law abiding growers and participants. Homeowners should be able to participate in any legal activity they wish on or in their own property.

Mr Beasley has been growing in that spot for nearly 8 months. Other than the burglary there have been no incidents. Mr Beasley, on his own, put up the tarps. But he is still attacked by the likes of Mr Lee and Mr Kuhns as if it were he, the legal and law abiding citizen victim of the burglar, who was the criminal instead of the burglar.

Mr Lee wants to 'prevent something like that from happening again'. Unfortunately he is not referring to the burglary for which he clearly could not possibly care less about, but instead he is referring to the entirely legal and law abiding activity of Mr Beasley growing the medical marijuana for several patients who need it and who are legally entitled to it.

Mr Lee threatens that if his local efforts fail that he will seek a statewide version.

It is clear that this has nothig to do with 'protecting kids' and everything to do with Mr Lee being a sore loser on the medical marijuana issue so he will do anything and everything he can to harass, intimidate and obstruct legal and law abiding citizens from accessing that which the law allows them.

That is simply wrong.

The schools need to keep their students under control. The police need to deal with burglars who try and take property, yes including legally grown medical marijuana, instead of looking for ways to harass, intimidate or obstruct legal law abiding citizens engaged in legal law abiding activities.

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