Oregons Road to Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana is now legal for recreational (for adults 21+) and medicinal use in the state of Oregon. It was not a short easy road though that led the state to where it is today. The history leading to the end of prohibition on marijuana in the state has been a long one, but we are very excited about where they are today. Oregon has always been a leader and advocate for the end of prohibition. They were among the first states to decriminalize small amounts of possession back in 1973, over 40 years before the epic moment in history we are seeing now.
One of the First for Medical
Next to California they were one of the first states in the United States to vote to legalize medical marijuana. This was in 1998. The OMMP at this time allowed patients who qualified under the small list of medical conditions to grow or have someone grow for them. Medical marijuana patients were allowed to be cultivating three mature plants & four immature plants at on time. They could also possess up to one ounce of dry smokeable marijuana.
The Downs and Ups Towards Retail
Six years later still having no place to purchase medicinal grade marijuana legally, patients were looking to legislators to pass a bill to allow for retail sale of medical marijuana in the state. This did not succeed too much disappointment in 2004. In 2005 the limits for cultivation and possession for medical patients were increased. Patients at this time were allowed to possess 24 or less ounces. They could also cultivate up to 6 mature plants and up to 18 immature plants at one time. This new legislature had a provision allowing reimbursement to growers for their utilities and supply costs.
More Rejection and Finally a Win
A similar bill and disappointment came again in 2010 like what was seen in 2004. A legislation was once again rejected that would have allowed for a retail industry for medical marijuana patients. In 2012 there was again disappointment when Measure 80 was also rejected. Measure 80 was an effort to completely legalize use for adults 21 and older without limitations on cultivation or possession. There was a big win however this year. The state voted in 2012 to finally allow a retail industry for medical marijuana patients to legally and safely purchase their much needed medication.
Yes to Recreational
In 2014 voters said yes to legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older on a recreational level! The law voted in would allow said adults to grow and possess marijuana for recreational use. As an added bonus it also had a provision that created a taxed system for retail sales that would be state regulated.
The Day is Finally Here
On July 1st of this year recreational use for adults became legal in the state of Oregon thanks to the passing of Measure 91. This measure allows for adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana in public and up to 8 ounces in their homes. It also allows for cultivation of up to 4 plants in private residences as well that can yield no more than 8 ounces at any given time not to conflict with the possession limitation.
This is a very happy ending to the story that started over 40 years ago. It is another step towards the long needed end to prohibition on marijuana. There are many other states looking to take steps to legalize on a medicinal level in the years to come. We can only hope to hear more great news of other states progressing with recreational legalization as well.
Where We Stand Recreationally
At this time there are 3 other states, Colorado, Washington and Alaska that have legalized recreational marijuana for adults and regulated the sale and possession limitations. This is in addition to the nation’s capital Washington D.C. who also took measures this year to legalize recreational use for adults as well. All of these states are seeing great success with the measures they have in place and the results of their legalization measures.
Where We Stand Medically
In regards to medicinal marijuana there are currently 23 states plus Washington D.C. that have legalized and are regulating medical marijuana programs at this time. There are several other states that are looking to take measures to allow for medical marijuana as well, we can only hope that we see those days come sooner rather than later.
What Must Be Done Now
It is time for the prohibition to end on marijuana entirely. Together we must educate and vote on bills when they come through to do our parts to help in these efforts. In the states where it is legal, it is important for those individuals to be responsible. It is also crucial that they continue to help other who are still fighting for their rights to do the same where it remains illegal.