Oregon is often at the fore front of progressive issues, so it is no surprise that they have joined a handful of states in legalizing possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. Under Measure 91, individuals in Oregon that are over the age of 21 can legally possess and use marijuana since July 1, 2015. In addition, beginning on January 1, 2016 individuals have been able to apply for licenses to legally sell marijuana.
What Are the Current Marijuana Laws in Oregon?
- 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.
- Usage: Usage 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 began accepting licenses for production beginning on January 4, 2016. The application fee is $250 and the annual licensing fee is $1,000. A map of registered marijuana dispensaries as well as license applications can be found on Oregon government website.
- 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.
Does Oregon Have a Medical Marijuana Provision?
Yes, there is still a provision for individuals with certain medical conditions to register for medical marijuana. A proper medical marijuana card allows individuals to cultivate up to 6 mature plants or 18 immature plants, as opposed to 4 plants as a recreational user. In addition, an individual with a proper medical marijuana card may possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana as opposed to the 8-ounce limit for recreational users. To receive a medical marijuana card, you must have a physician state that you have a qualifying condition and that marijuana may mitigate the symptoms of the condition. For more information on obtaining a medical marijuana card, visit the Oregon Health Authority website.
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 small differences in the amount of marijuana an individual possesses. 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.