DHS news release
June 6, 2005
Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180
Technical contact: Grant Higginson, M.D., 503-731-4000
Department of Human Services temporarily stops issuing medical marijuana cards
Following today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that federal authorities may prosecute users of medical marijuana, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is temporarily halting issuance of medical marijuana registration cards.
"We need to proceed cautiously until we understand the ramifications of this ruling," said state public health officer Grant Higginson, M.D., who oversees the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. "We have contacted the state attorney general to ask for a formal legal opinion on how the court's ruling affects Oregon's program."
DHS will continue to receive and process applications, Higginson said, but no registration cards will be issued until the Department of Justice provides further direction.
Oregon is one of the states with laws allowing the medical use of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Currently, more than 10,000 medical marijuana patients are registered in Oregon's program.
Staff in the state medical marijuana program were responding to card-holders' questions Monday, such as whether they can withdraw from the program (they can), and deferring detailed answers until the attorney general issues a legal opinion.