As of midnight July 1, it is legal to possess and grow marijuana in Oregon. Buying and selling marijuana, however, remains illegal without a medicinal card. Still, those with marijuana now face no penalty for possession or growing marijuana. The bill to legalize and regulate recreational shops is making its way through the Oregon legislature and could pass as soon as this fall. As a Portland defense attorney, this is good, common sense policy.
It should be noted, however, that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. This means that the FBI or ATF could come in at any moment and begin arresting people for marijuana offenses. While the current administration seems unlikely to do this, it remains to be seen how this might change in 2017 when a new president is sworn is. It seems that attitudes towards marijuana have changed enough that this is won’t happen, but any choosing to grow, sell, or possess marijuana needs to understand that there is the possibility they could still face criminal charges.
While it is highly unlikely the government will fully legalize marijuana, they could take the step to reclassify it. Currently, marijuana is a Schedule I substance, meaning that it has no medicinal value and is considered the most dangerous class of drugs. This puts it in a category with LSD, heroin, and ecstasy. Schedule II substances include cocaine and oxycodone, two drugs which unquestionably do more damage to society. This scheduling certainly seems outdated. A reasonable step for the government to take would be to reclassify it and give the states the ability to control or regulate the drug without fear of unwanted federal intervention.
At Kroll & Johnson, we are happy that men and women will no longer face criminal prosecution for most marijuana offenses. If you have been arrested for a crime, contact a defense attorney at Kroll & Johnson today for a free consultation.