By Oscar Pascual |
While the rest of America looks forward to Independence Day, Oregon is celebrating a newfound independence as adults will be able to legally possess and use marijuana in the state from July 1.
The Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Control, Regulation and Taxation Act – also known as Measure 91 – has officially come into effect. Voters approved the measure in November 2014 with a 56 percent decision, the Marijuana Policy Project reports.
Under the measure, adults 21 and older are now allowed to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants. That went into effect this week.
Oregon joins Alaska, Colorado, Washington and the District of Columbia at the forefront of cannabis legalization.
But unlike Colorado and Washington, Oregon has yet to set up a regulated system for growing and selling, meaning there is currently no way to legally purchase recreational cannabis.
The strange juxtaposition of legalizing weed without being able to buy anywhere has led to several news outlets explaining the many nuances of the recently introduced legislation.
Since the legal sale of cannabis is not expected to start until the end of 2016, Oregonian reports that people will simply have to rely on the generosity of friends to get their hands on marijuana right now. Pot can be personally grown, given away or shared, but it will still be illegal to be sold.
Some will have the bright idea of taking a road trip to Washington and taking weed back with them, which can have different outcomes.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that federal law makes it illegal to bring marijuana across a state line, regardless of state laws. On the other hand, Portland police told the Oregonian that smuggling retail pot out of Washington is “no problem.”
Despite a few hiccups in their early days of legalization, Oregon lawmakers hope to pave the way for other states to pass cannabis laws.
“States like Oregon that have ended prohibition and are moving towards a system of regulated sales and cultivation show that there is an alternative to prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Regulating marijuana works. It works in Colorado and Washington, it will work in Oregon and Alaska, and it won’t be long before other states follow suit.”
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