Marijuana Laws In Oregon

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Marjiuana Laws in Oregon

Oregon is often at the fore front of progressive issues, so it is no surprise that they have relatively progressive "decriminalized" laws on marijuana possession, and have legalized medical marijuana. Under Measure 91, individuals in Oregon will be able to legally possess, use, and/or cultivate marijuana beginning in July 1, 2015. Individuals in Oregon may legally apply for licenses to sell marijuana beginning in January 1, 2016.

What Are Marijuana Laws in Oregon After July 1, 2015?

Possession: Individuals in Oregon 21 years or older may possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home or 1 ounce of marijuana while in public. Likewise, anyone 21 years or older can possess up to one pound of solid edibles with marijuana, 72 ounces of marijuana infused liquids and one ounce of marijuana extract.

Useage: Useage of marijuana in public will be illegal. Individuals in Oregon can only use marijuana in the privacy of a home (be it their home or a friend’s). It will still be illegal to be under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. This will subject the driver to Oregon DUI laws. Note that Measure 91 makes it legal for individuals in Oregon to smoke inside the state, regardless of whether the individual lives in or is a citizen of the state.

Sale: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin issuing licenses for production beginning in 2016. The application fee will be $250 and the annual licensing fee will be $1,000. Although medical marijuana dispensaries currently exist in Oregon, only registered patients can purchase from those dispensaries.

Cultivation: Each household is allowed four (4) plants for personal use. A household can include apartments and mobile homes.

State borders: Individuals cannot transport marijuana outside of or into Oregon. Federal law still prohibits possession, usage, and/or sale of marijuana. What Are Marijuana Laws in Oregon Before July 1, 2015?

Possession: Possession of small amounts of marijuana - less than an ounce - have been decriminalized in Oregon. This means getting caught by law enforcement with less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction and not a crime, with a punishment similar to receiving a very expensive traffic ticket, with fine ranges from $500 to $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce, however, is a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a potential 6 months in state prison. Until recently, possessing more than an ounce of marijuana was a serious felony, elevating the sentence to 10 years in a state prison, with more than a $300,000 fine. The insanely drastic disparity in punishment lead to a reform in the law. However, possessing more than four ounces is still a felony, and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Moreover, possessing any amount of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school is punishable by 30 days in jail and up to $1,250 fines.

Usage: Using marijuana in public or being under the influence if marijuana is illegal under Oregon law, but not heavily enforced. However, being under the influence of marijuana while operating a motorvehicle will subject the driver to Oregon DUI laws.

Sale: The sale of marijuana has not been decriminalized in any real sense. The sale of any amount of marijuana carries jail time. If the marijuana is sold to a minor, or the deal takes place within 1,000 yards of a school, the potential jail time is 20 years.

Cultivation: Marijuana cultivation is also strictly outlawed. Growing a single plant of marijuana is a 20 year felony, with a $365,000 fine.

Does Oregon Have a Medical Marijuana Provision?

Yes, but the amounts allowed are small enough to be decriminalized. Meaning an individual is allowed to possess up to one ounce for medical purposes, if that person is registered with the state and has proper medical documentation. Essentially, all the medical marijuana law does is prevent individuals from being subject to the fine that possession would normally come with. However, the law also allows the cultivation of up to three plants for medical purposes, so if you have a valid registration card, medical marijuana is a valid defense against the otherwise extremely serious crime of cultivation.

Regardless of Oregon's laws, it is important to realize that medical marijuana is still not recognized by federal law, so even if your home state allows medical marijuana, federal agents can still arrest someone at any time and subject them to penalties pursuant to federal guidelines.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been arrested in Oregon for a marijuana crime, it is very important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The laws in Oregon range significantly, and for very minute differences in actual marijuana possession. Speaking with a lawyer who is familiar with Oregon's marijuana laws is the best way to receive the advice you'll need to avoid a potential prison sentence.

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Last Modified: 11-10-2014 10:25 AM PST

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