The Law, Briefly
Measure 91 will go into effect on July 1, 2015, at which point anyone over the age of 21 can posses up to an ounce in public and up to eight ounces (eight ounces!) in their home, along with four plants. Households may also posses up to 16 ounces of solid cannabis, which would include edibles, as well 72 ounces of liquid marijuana, such as sodas, and one ounce of extracts. These allowances could produce Scrooge McDuck levels of stockpiling, and we can’t wait to see the Instagram accounts of people posing with their legal stash piles starting next July. (Click here for comprehensive coverage from The Oregonian.)
Technically, a household can mean an apartment unit, house, or mobile home, making it theoretically legal to grow four plants in a rented apartment starting July 1, 2015. So long as your landlord is cool with it, of course.
Right now possession of less than one ounce is still a non-criminal violation, one to four ounces is still a misdemeanor, and getting caught with more than four ounces still makes you a felon.
Who’s the Boss?
Recreational cannabis will be regulated by The Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It is not yet clear if the already existing medicinal establishments will be able to sell recreationally, as they are in Colorado, but not Washington, or if they will eventually limit the number of recreational retailers.
“All of that is on the table right now,” according to Rob Patridge, chairman of the OLCC. Patridge told The Oregonian’s Noelle Crombie that his goal “is to take the commission across Oregon to create transparency and listen to what Oregonians have to say about how to make this measure work Oregon’s way.”
Measure 91 stipulates that the state needs to begin to take licensing applications by January 4, 2016, which means the first shops should appear no later than summer of 2016. From July 1, 2015 until then, the only possibility for obtaining legal cannabis without a medicinal card will be in the form of gifts from one person over the age of 21 to another or to grow it yourself. You will be able to buy clones (young cannabis plants) from licensed recreational grow shops, as soon as those grow shops exist.
Same As It Ever Was
“Nothing will change for us in the interim,” Portland Police spokesman Peter Simpson said in a Reuters interview, “as marijuana possession has been a very low law enforcement priority for a long time.”
Your employer will, for the foreseeable future, continue to have the right to fire you for a failed drug test. It is now, and will continue to be, illegal to consume cannabis in public (in some cases even on your own front porch) or while driving, as Vote No spokesman and Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis points out: “Anyone who is driving down the freeway and lights up a doobie and waives at an officer is going to get a ticket.” As well as, hopefully, a stern lecture on the benefits of not being so friendly it makes you stupid, plus the knowledge that no one cool uses the word doobie anymore.