It’s Official Oregon Legalization Started
As of July 1, 2015, Oregon is now a legal recreational marijuana state. What does that mean? Anyone over the age of 21 can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana at their home and carry up to one ounce outside the home.
“Measure 91 legalized possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older and regulated commercial production, manufacturing, and retail sales of marijuana,” TheWeedBlog explained.
To celebrate the day in Portland, hundreds of weed enthusiasts fanned out across the aptly-named Burnside Bridge before midnight, counting down the minutes until the law allowing recreational use went into effect. As was the case in Colorado, Washington and Alaska, Oregon pot smokers hugged and toked like stoners at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The new law also impacts criminal prosecutions, it “reduces most marijuana felonies to misdemeanors or lesser felonies with significantly reduced sentences. These changes allow eligible persons with prior marijuana convictions to have their convictions set aside, sentences reduced, and records sealed”.
“The new law allows individuals to apply to have prior marijuana convictions set aside as if they were convicted under the law’s new sentencing structure. For example, if a person was previously convicted of possessing over 8 ounces of marijuana, formerly a Class C felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison and a $125,000 fine, the conviction would be eligible to be treated under the law’s new classification of unlawful marijuana possession: a Class A misdemeanor. A person with a Class A misdemeanor conviction is eligible to have his or her conviction cleared under Oregon statute 137.225.”
“A felony drug conviction carries significant collateral consequences that can mean the loss of public assistance, educational opportunities, employment, and housing,” says Tamar Todd, Director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. “With this new law, Oregon is not only taking a bold step forward to end the war on drugs, but is actively addressing and reversing the terrible consequences of that war.”