NOW THAT 2015 has arrived, I thought it might be helpful to review exactly what Measure 91 means (and doesn't mean) for you and your demon-weed-puffing brethren.
First, nothing takes effect until July 1. Which does not mean Johnny Law and his friend Danny the District Attorney here in Multnomah County have been idle. In November, the DA's office announced that, in light of upcoming legalization, they were dismissing 50 pending cases. Each involved activity that would be legal come July 1. Furthermore, prosecutors would not be pursuing "future charges for conduct related to marijuana possession and delivery of marijuana which will become lawful under Measure 91 absent exceptional circumstances."
Mind you, that only applies to Multnomah County. A senior DA in Washington County is moving forward with prosecuting low-level pending cases, telling the Oregonian that they "won't be granting amnesty" to those charged. Which is great news, as the biggest problem, crime-wise, in Washington County is someone smoking a joint.
But come July 1, here's what you, the recreational user, can do, and how it compares to medical marijuana patients who are part of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP).
GROWING: A person 21 and over, residing at an Oregon address, can grow four plants (no more than four per household) without any fees, taxes, or regulation, as long as it is 1,000 feet or more from a school. OMMP cardholders right now can grow 24 plants of various sizes; under Measure 91, that stays the same.
POSSESSION: Recreational users will be able to have up to one ounce on them while traveling outside their homes, and eight ounces at home. OMMP cardholders currently can have 24 ounces at home and when traveling within the state. But beginning in July, OMMP cardholders will be able to have an additional eight ounces at home, as well, bringing their total to 32 ounces, or two pounds of dried plant matter (AKA buds). Both groups get to take part in the new regulations for edibles, which cover one pound of solid edibles (about 10 chocolate bars), 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid (a six-pack of 12-ounce sodas), and one ounce of marijuana extract. As there are no restrictions in place right now for OMMP cardholders regarding edibles, this won't be a big change for them.
WHERE TO SMOKE: Indoors—e.g., your home or a friend's home or another private place. You cannot smoke it in a "public place," now or after July 1. Under state law, that includes streets, schools, amusement parks, the hallways and lobbies of apartment buildings and hotels, and other places considered to be in public view. Your front porch may be a public place, as it has been interpreted as such in previous rulings.
GET YOU SOME: Non-OMMP users can't buy anything until the recreational dispensaries open, which won't be until around June 2016—nearly a year and a half from now. The law says anyone 21 or older can give away up to an ounce to someone else who's 21 and older, but the giver must have grown what is being shared. Which makes now a great time to become friends with a grower.