- Posted by Alex de Man
- On July 20, 2015
- 0 Comments
- cannabis, drug policy reform, federal law, legalization, legislation, marijuana, medical marijuana, Oregon, recreational marijuana, state law
On July 1, 2015 by popular vote, Oregon became the fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. The passage of Ballot Measure 91, also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, gives the Oregon Liquor Control Commission until January 1, 2016 to establish a system for the production, processing, and sale of recreational marijuana. Like alcohol, the OLCC will be in charge of issuing sales licenses to businesses interested in selling marijuana. Likewise, House Bill 3400, signed into effect on June 30, put the OLCC in position to institute lab testing, consumer packaging requirements, and set production size limits for recreational marijuana.
Passed by the House and Senate on July 3, 2015 though not yet signed into law, House Bill 2041 imposes a 17% retail tax structure for recreational marijuana once the sale becomes legal. After the Department of Revenue’s administrative and enforcement expenses are compensated, the remaining balance will be credited to the Oregon Marijuana Account, separate from the General Fund. According to the Department of Revenue, each month the Oregon Marijuana Account will distribute 40% of its moneys to the Common School Fund, 20% to the Mental Health Alcoholism and Drug Services Account, 15% to the State Police Account, and a respective 10% must be transferred to Oregon’s cities based on population and number of licenses issued.
Passed by the House and Senate on July 9, 2015 though not yet filed with the Secretary of State, Senate Joint Memorial 12 first acknowledges that the forthcoming growth of the marijuana industry should be accompanied by business structures that allow access to banking and credit union services for businesses and individuals involved in the marijuana industry. Second, and perhaps most significantly, this measure recommends that Congress remove marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I drug not only because such a classification creates barriers to establishing financial solutions for this expanding industry, but also hinders important research of the scientific, medical, and industrial potential of marijuana and the risks and benefits of its use.
Passed by the House and Senate on July 9, 2015 though not yet signed into law, Senate Bill 460 implements a legal avenue for recreational marijuana users 21 years and older to purchase limited quantities of marijuana retail products from medical marijuana dispensaries beginning this October. Until then, the sale and purchase of recreational marijuana remains illegal under state and federal law.
As of July 1, 2015, the passage of Ballot Measure 91 allows those 21 and older to posses and use recreational marijuana at home or on private property, posses up to 8 ounces at home and 1 ounce outside the home, grow up to four plants per residence out of public view, share or give away recreational marijuana and marijuana products to those of age, and, according to TSA’s Prohibited Items List, bring marijuana on in-state flights.
Among other purposes, Measure 91 intends to protect the safety and welfare of Oregon’s citizens by prioritizing limited law enforcement resources, prevent the distribution of marijuana to persons under 21, prevent marijuana revenues from funding criminal entities, and to prevent firearm violence in the cultivation and distribution of recreational marijuana. Despite the Section that mentions the intention to prevent drugged driving and the exacerbation of other “adverse public health consequences” associated with the use of marijuana, this Measure’s limitations concede that Oregon employers and landlords can still discriminate against marijuana consumers according to state and federal law. Thus, while these bills help the state and citizens of Oregon increase their access to this blooming industry, federal law still threatens its safety and growth.
In recognition of such barriers, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher introduced House of Representatives Bill 1940, also known as the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 to congress on April 22, 2015. The Bill proposes an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act for marijuana: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.” Such a Bill works to aid the problematic gap between state and federal marijuana policies by restoring authority to local state governments.