Ore. House approves medical marijuana dispensaries bill

Ore. House approves medical marijuana dispensaries bill
Visitors to the Oregon State Capitol pass through the rotunda Saturday, July 6, 2013 as lawmakers hold a weekend session to work toward adjournment. The state's Constitution requires they adjourn by July 13. (Steve Benham/KATU.com)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Medical marijuana dispensaries are a signature away from being legal in Oregon.

The state House of Representatives approved a bill Saturday to establish a licensing system for medical marijuana outlets. The bill, which passed 32-27, now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber to sign.

Current law requires medical marijuana cardholders to grow the weed themselves or find someone to grow it for them. The bill would enable cardholders to purchase the drug from state-licensed medicinal pot shops.

Supporters say legalizing dispensaries will make it easier for the state's nearly 55,000 medical pot users to get their medicine and harder for the black market to get its hands on Oregon weed.

Some opponents argue the bill doesn't have enough teeth to go after people who abuse the state's medical marijuana program.