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In Oregon, 22 Doctors Are Responsible for
85% of Medical Marijuana Recommendations
 
The Oregon Health Authority has issued two new reports on marijuana. Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program: Statistical Snapshot, January 2016 finds that 22 physicians have recommended marijuana for medical use to 85% of the state’s registered patients.
 
Some 1,700 physicians serve between 1 and 449 patients and account for a total of 19,087 patients, while 22 physicians account for a total of 60,908 patients, an average of 2,769 patients each.
 
Oregon now has registered:
  • 77,155 patients
  • 35,736 caregivers
  • 46,812 growers
  • 32,171 grow sites
Patients are 59% male, 41% female. Conditions they registered for (they may register for more than one condition) include:
  • Severe pain, 71,533 (92%)
  • Spasms, 22,501 (28.9%)
  • Nausea, 10,680 (13.7%)
  • PTSD, 5,527 (7.1%)
  • Cancer, 4,460 (5.7%)
  • Seizures, 2,122 (2.7%)
Those listing cachexia, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease are less than 1.5% each.
 
Read this report here.
 
Changes Already Occurring in Oregon
After Recreational Legalization
 
The Oregon Health Authority also issued this month a baseline report titled Marijuana Report: Use, Attitudes, and Health Effects in Oregon. This comprehensive report includes several key findings.
 
Pictured above, for example, is a state map showing the 40 cities and 11 counties that have banned marijuana businesses within their boundaries. However, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program shows those numbers to be higher. Some 80 of the state’s 242 cities and 17 of its 36 counties have banned marijuana processing businesses and marijuana dispensaries from conducting business within their boundaries.
 
Oregon legalized marijuana for medical use in 1998 and for recreational use in 2014. Possession of up to eight ounces became legal for those age 21 or older July 1, 2015. Because recreational dispensaries will not open until late this year, the state allowed dispensaries selling pot for medical use to begin selling pot for recreational use as well October 1, 2015.
 
In just three months, however, some changes are already being seen. Marijuana-related calls to the state’s Poison Control Center increased in the last half of 2015, for example, from 105 in 2014 to 158 in 2015.
 
Other data include:
  • One in ten 8th-graders and one in five 11th-graders used marijuana in the past month, about the same as national levels.
  • Approximately 90% of marijuana users smoke the drug.
  • Some 62% of 11th-graders report marijuana is easy to get, some say easier than cigarettes.
  • Nearly half of current marijuana using 11th-graders who drive say they drove within three hours of using the drug.
  • Half (51%) of Oregon adults have seen marijuana store or product advertising, but less than one-third (29%) have seen information about marijuana health effects.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Oregon adults say they don’t know when it is legal to drive after using marijuana.
Read this report here. Read Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program report here.
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) 

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy. 

SAM has four main goals: 
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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