Ask Portland NORML - Questions from July 2015

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Have you got questions about the new marijuana law, starting your marijuana business, using marijuana medicinally, fixing your marijuana grow, or something else? You can always reach us by email at [email protected]. Here are some of the questions we answered for the public in July:

I don’t understand how [the legislature] can make these changes when Measure 91 clearly states that medical marijuana laws are not to be affected at all by the measure.

The sad part about medical marijuana not being affected by Measure 91 is that, technically, that is absolutely true. Nothing in Measure 91 addressed medical marijuana in any way. Unfortunately, Measure 91 did not say, “and furthermore, the legislature is forbidden from making changes to medical marijuana.”

During the session, many legislators brought up the Cole Memo, the federal government’s list of “don’ts” for states that legalize. They believed that if they did not change medical marijuana, we’d be violating some of the Cole Memo. It’s a specious argument at best. The feds have never particularly bothered Oregon’s program and the Rohrabacher Amendment gives additional cover to states that are regulating medical. Really, the Cole Memo was just an excuse for the legislature to make changes they wanted to make to medical even if Measure 91 had not passed.

Hey, I was wondering what the restrictions are about growing outdoors in cities in Oregon now, I live in Eugene and what little information I have read has said it either has to simply be out of public view or it has to be out of public view and in a hard to access area.

“Out of public view” is our only requirement for personal marijuana cultivation, and even then, it’s just a ticket if you’re seen by the public. See below from House Bill 3400:

Sec. 56. (1) A person may not produce, process or store homegrown marijuana or homemade cannabinoid products or cannabinoid concentrates if the homegrown marijuana or homemade cannabinoid products or cannabinoid concentrates can be readily seen by normal unaided vision from a public place. (2) A violation of subsection (1) of this section is a Class B violation.

How and where can I legally obtain seeds to grow at home?

As of October 1, you’ll be able to go into any participating Oregon medical marijuana dispensary and purchase cannabis seeds, as well as clones and up to 7 grams of useable marijuana, thanks to Senate Bill 460. As a bonus, those purchases will be tax-free until January 2016, when a temporary 25% sales tax kicks in, thanks to House Bill 2041. Then, sometime around September 2016, when the OLCC licensed recreational shops open, which will feature a 17% state tax and up to a 3% local tax.

Is there might be a place I can contact to try to get something. I’m new to Portland and don’t have any connections.

Join us at our regular public meetings on the 4th Saturday of the month. Our next one is August 22 at Noon at the Tony Starlight Room, 1125 SE Madison, Portland. You’ll meet people, and before you know it, you’ll have some connections. I was new to Portland in 2003, I joined my local NORML chapter, and I met plenty of great people on my very first day!


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Russ Belville

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

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