The Future of Legalization: Give It Up, Oregon




Making friends in Oregon just got a lot easier. As of midnight on July 1 anyone in Oregon can possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public while hoarding up to eight ounces inside their homes. It is still very much illegal to consume cannabis in public, and that includes your front porch if you can be easily seen by passersby. It is okay for you to partake in your back yard, and, while you should be mindful of your neighbors, it is not illegal for you to produce smoke that others can smell. (If a conflict ensues, authorities suggest mediation options.) You can grow up to four plants at a time, and the state does not distinguish between stages of growth.


Unfortunately you cannot legally buy recreational cannabis in Oregon, and retail shops won’t likely be open for another year. Areas activists and entrepreneurs, in the meantime, are planning cannabis and seed sharing events, while lawmakers work on a bill that would allow for limited recreational sales from existing medical dispensaries. Even if this law passes, you would only be allowed to purchase seven grams of flower and no edibles or concentrates. It seems like your best bet, Oregon residents, is to get started on your homegrow today.


And, of course, if you’re visiting Oregon and would like some cannabis, you need to find a generous soul willing to give you some.


Noelle Crombie’s Q&A covers most of what you need to know, whether you’re an Oregon resident or just going for a visit. Some highlights:


-It is totally illegal to ride your bike around Portland under the influence of cannabis, no matter how much fun it is to ride your bike under the influence of cannabis.


-Since it’s a free country, the police can ask you where you got your weed, but you are under no obligation to tell them where you got your weed, or where the weed even at. However, as we struggle to deal with the issue of improving police-community relations, WRK would like to suggest starting a Give a Cool Cop Some Cannabis pilot program. Then maybe everybody can calm down.


-Buses are considered public places so, though it remains legal to ride a bus while muttering the opening lines of your long-form poem out loud over and over again, you are still not allowed to consume cannabis on that bus.


-If you live alone and grow four plants and you expect to harvest more than the allotted eight ounces, you have a few options: you could destroy the extra cannabis, you could give it away, or you could consume it, presumably as it comes off the assembly line so as not to exceed your personal possession threshold. This is, as we say in Baltimore, “one of them good problems.”


-IT IS LEGAL TO CONSUME CANNABIS IN FRONT OF MINORS. This is an important one for us at Weekend Review Kit. We are continually confused by a society that feels it is okay to advertise erectile dysfunction medicine during daytime baseball games, that considers drinking in front of your children before noon to be a classy Sunday activity, but vilifies the use of holistic, natural medicine. While they advise against consuming in front of children – and we agree that smoking anything around kids isn’t a good idea – this legal language goes a long way to furthering the conversation about how we present cannabis to future generations.


For a quick reference or further questions, check out the Educate Before You Recreate campaign at What’s Legal Oregon.

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