With the recent passing of Measure 91, Oregonians should get the facts about legalized marijuana in the state and the laws that will govern it.
Portland sits only across the river from Vancouver, Washington yet Portland residents have been banned from using marijuana recreationally while their neighbors in Washington have been able to legally use the substance. That is about to change as voters in the state recently passed Measure 91 which legalizes the recreational use of cannabis for people aged 21 or over.
It is important for people in the area to be fully aware of what the new laws will entail so that they can avoid being surprised by potential problems that could lead them to be in need of a criminal defense.
According to OregonLive.com, the new law does not take effect until July 1, 2015. Until then, the existing laws will continue to govern recreational marijuana in the state. Anyone found possessing up to one ounce of the drug will be subject to a non-criminal violation. Persons with between one and four ounces can be charged with a misdemeanor and those people found guilty of having more than five ounces of marijuana could be at risk for a felony drug crime conviction.
The Huffington Post and OregonLive.com outline the basics of what is known thus far regarding the legalization of marijuana. These include the following:
The local NBC affiliate, KGW.com suggests that the street price for legal marijuana will be far greater than the black market price. Estimates put the cost of legal pot at roughly $330 per ounce. That compares with roughly $177 per ounce on the black market.
Even though possession of the drug will be legal as of July 1, 2015, retail sales cannot begin until into 2016. That is because the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the industry, has until the beginning of that year to finalize the laws for producing, processing and selling marijuana. The OLCC can only issue retail business licenses once that has been completed.
There will be many nuances that people should remain aware of. For example, pot cannot be consumed in public places but only at home. Whether or not a front yard is considered public or private is as of yet unclear. For this reason, people who face potential issues regarding marijuana should contact an attorney for help.
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