Group: Oregon Cops Treat Marijuana Patients Like Criminals


Photo: KEZI
Christine McGarvin, Protect Your Rights 420: “It’s the specter of reefer madness”

​Many Oregon law enforcement officers do not distinguish between medical marijuana patients and illegal pot users, according to the group Protect Your Rights 420. Members said that is why it is important that people who use cannabis medicinally know their rights.

“I’ve heard it all,” said Lorri Duckworth, a Protect Your Rights 420 member, reports Jeff Skryzpek of KEZI 9 News.
“If we do it the right way, the legal way, then maybe law enforcement would open their eyes to the fact that we’re not all the typical couch potato stoners,” Duckworth said.

​A lack of understanding among law enforcement and the general public is giving them a bad name, group members said, and it creates all sorts of hassles and unnecessary encounters with law enforcement.

Photo: KEZI
Lorri Duckworth, Protect Your Rights 420: “If we do it the right way, the legal way, then maybe law enforcement would open their eyes”

​”It’s the specter of reefer madness,” said member Christine McGarvin. “It really hasn’t changed in a number of law enforcement perceptions.”
Police often conduct illegal searches and medical marijuana seizures from documented patients, according to many medical cannabis supporters.
For that reason, Protect Your Rights 420 has embarked on a statewide tour to help medical marijuana patients, growers and caregivers in Oregon understand their rights.
“They don’t see what we see,” McGarvin said. “They don’t see the grandmas and grandpas and the 70-year-olds and the 80-year-olds who are using medicine to improve their qualify of life.”
Virginia Bensinger, a caregiver for her husband who is battling brain cancer, said she just wants to be within the law.
“If we did have someone, you know, complain about about a certain smell or something, we knew exactly how to respond to that,” Bensinger said.
KEZI 9 News tried talking with the Eugene Police Department about the comments from Protect Your Rights 420 members.
“This isn’t a story EPD wants to be involved in,” said the department’s public information officer.