Good News: OR, MT Pot Cards Available To Out-Of-State Patients


Graphic: Medical Marijuana U.S.A.
If you’re an American with a qualifying medical condition, you can legally smoke marijuana in Oregon or Montana.

​If you’re an American with a qualifying medical condition, you can legally smoke marijuana in Oregon or Montana — whether you live there or not.

With the discovery of a loophole in Montana’s medical marijuana law, the Big Sky State joins Oregon in no longer requiring state residency to obtain legal authorization to use medicinal cannabis.

Montana health officials said Friday that patients don’t have to live in the state to receive medical marijuana cards.
The discovery was made after the Department of Public Health and Human Services reviewed plans to require a Montana driver’s license or state-issued ID, according to department spokesman Chuck Council.

Graphic: Reality Catcher
Out-of-staters may now obtain medical marijuana cards in Oregon and Montana.jpeg

​​The new driver’s license policy was to begin Monday, August 9, but the legal review has put the kibosh on those plans.
“The law is mute on the subject of legal residency and there is no recourse for the Department of Public Health and Human Services but to keep the situation as it stands, Council said, reports Matt Volz of The Associated Press.
“On Monday, we will be moving forward, status quo, on the processing of out-of-state applications,” Council said.
The Montana Department of Health, which maintains the state’s medical marijuana patient registry, said the list included about 23,500 patients at the end of July. The registry increased by nearly 4,000 people in just one month, a continuation of the medical marijuana boom that, in the first six months of 2010, has seen more than 12,300 registered patients added, more than doubling the size of the list.

Photo: Marijuana Caregivers

​Montana health officials decided to tighten the residency requirements when they discovered several out-of-staters, such as college students and “snowbird” retirees, had applied for medical marijuana cards. It is unclear exactly how many such applications were received.
But unless the Montana Legislature changes the law, Council said, health officials have no choice but to accept out-of-state applications from qualified patients.

Oregon Program Also Accepts Out-Of-Staters

Photo: Archery Talk

​Oregon, like Montana, may no longer require residency as part of its medical marijuana permit application process.
Oregon applicants formerly needed to supply proof of residency as well as Oregon identification as part of their application. However, the Beaver State shaved its residency requirement after it was informed by the Oregon Department of Justice that such a requirement was inconsistent with the language of the bill.
While the program was created with the intent of specifically benefiting Oregonians, there was no requirement of residency written into the bill, so they cannot lawfully require it, according to Tawana Nichols, Oregon Medical Marijuana Program manager.

Graphic: Medical Marijuana U.S.A.

Get Ready For the Rise of Medical Marijuana Tourism
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that qualifying patients are going to be taking medical marijuana vacations into Oregon and Montana now that it’s clear out-of-staters can become legal patients in those states.
Toke of the Town predicts that more and more patients, eager to experience the physical and psychological benefits of legal marijuana use at least one time in their lives. free from the tinge of law enforcement paranoia, will flock to Oregon and/or Montana for a week or a month of rest, relaxation, and cannabination.
And we further predict that once citizens have done that — once they’ve experienced the reality that marijuana doesn’t have to be illegal everywhere, all the time, for any reason — they’re going to go back ready to demand changes in the marijuana laws of their home states.
Medical Marijuana Cards Usually Good In Issuing State Only
Patients should be aware that even though anyone with a qualifying medical condition can get a medical marijuana card in Montana and Oregon, those cards provide legal protection only in the state which issued them — with four notable exceptions.
Maine, Michigan, Montana and Rhode Island’s med
ical marijuana laws have “reciprocity,” which means they accept medical marijuana authorizations from other states.
Exercise caution even in those four states, however. In some of the states that allow reciprocity, it’s only for “use” — not allowing them to actually obtain marijuana legally — and even then there’s sometimes a time limit on your out-of-state authorization. Talk with a lawyer and definitely check local laws and enforcement patterns.
Patients are particularly cautioned about carrying marijuana into states which have not yet legalized its medical use.
In other words, as soon as you enter those states, you can be arrested for possession of cannabis.
Toke of the Town wishes to sincerely thank Adam Colbert for his excellent research assistance in the preparation of this article.