Recreational Marijuana to Become Legal in Oregon on Wednesday

On July 1, recreational marijuana becomes legal in Oregon as the personal cultivation and possession provisions of Measure 91, a state-wide voter-approved referendum that prevailed in November of 2014, take effect. The Oregonian notes that, starting on Wednesday, adults 21 and up will be allowed to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana at home and up to 1 ounce while traveling. Home growers will be allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per residence.

According to The Oregonian’s Noelle Crombie, “Anyone 21 and older can possess up to 1 pound of solid edibles, or about 10 chocolate bars; 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid, or a six-pack of 12-ounce sodas; and 1 ounce of marijuana extract.

Smoking pot in public remains illegal in Oregon and is punished with a fine of up to $1000. Under the law, plants grown in a resident’s yard must not be visible to the naked eye from the street.

However, Measure 91 tasked the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Legislature with crafting rules for a legal recreational marijuana marketplace, which has not yet taken place, meaning the sale of recreational pot will not yet be legal when the personal cultivation and possession provisions take effect on Wednesday. In the above-embedded video, Noelle Crombie and fellow marijuana policy expert at The Oregonian Jeff Mapes discuss the particulars of legalization and the legislative hurdles facing growers and sellers in the state.

Portland NORML is raising awareness to the lack of a legal market for recreational pot in Oregon by giving away free marijuana as the clock strikes midnight on July 1. KFOR-TV cited a statement by Portland NORML which read, “While it becomes legal to possess and cultivate cannabis, there is no legal place in Oregon to buy marijuana itself or cannabis seeds and starts. Portland NORML will educate the public and our partners will give away thousands of seeds and hundreds of pounds of marijuana this year so Washington State and the black market do not benefit from our new marijuana legality.

As it stands, the state will begin taking applications for large-scale cultivation and sales operations in January of 2016. However, the recreational pot industry is unlikely to start in the state until fall of next year.

According to The Associated Press, the Oregon Legislature’s joint marijuana committee approved a proposal last week to allow the state’s over 300 approved medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling to recreational customers in October of 2015 as a temporary solution to buy time while lawmakers craft rules for a legal pot marketplace.

In September of last year, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode highlighting the federal government’s mixed messages on marijuana. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.