Oregonians voted in November 2014 to legalize recreational marijuana, and the time has come for the Grim Reefer to slink out of the shadows and into the light.
Recreational weed in Oregon is legal July 1.
You may be asking, “Hasn’t it been legal all along?” Sure, Oregon’s enforcement of the wacky tobaccy has been pretty lax compared to the rest of the country, with weed decriminalized since the ’70s, but now it’s official. That doesn’t mean it’s a weed-for-all free-for-all. Here’s what you need to know before you go dabbing it up all Willie Nelson.
1)Smoke it, don’t sell it—and don’t buy it
This rule will probably cause the most problems in this new frontier of legal weed: You can’t legally buy it or sell it yet, but you can share or give it away. Licensed recreational retail shops aren’t likely to open until mid-2016. If you’re not going to grow your own, you better hope you have some generous friends.
So, legally, this is not a way for you to get on the fast track to your first million—though it’d be pretty cool to pay off your student loans with weed money. The Oregon Legislature recently approved the sale of recreational weed at medical dispensaries starting in October, but until then no one is supposed to be profiting off this new freedom.
2) None for the children
Recreational weed is still off-limits if you’re under 21. Sorry kiddos, you’ll have to wait a few years to partake. This means your twenty-first birthday will be extra special when you can buy a six-pack and smoke a joint with no cares in the world.
3) Friends don’t let friends toke and drive
Do not puff, puff, pass on by an officer while partaking in your car. Driving and smoking is not only illegal, it’s also dumb. Take an Uber, walk or find a sober friend. Driving while stoned can result in a Driving Under the Influence charge. So far, it’s pretty vague how the OLCC and police plan to enforce this law.
4) Keep it off the streets
You can only use recreational marijuana at your own home or on private property where you have explicit permission. Public use is illegal. Basically, that means you can smoke in your house or your friends’ houses, but everywhere else is fair game to be bothered by the long arm of the law.
5) Up to 8 ounces at home, an ounce when you’re out
The OLCC says you can possess up to 8 ounces of “usable” marijuana in your home and up to 1 ounce outside the home. Usable means dried, trimmed and smokable weed. The definition includes leaves, so having a bunch of trim at your house in addition to 8 ounces of flowers might be problematic in the eyes of the law. Don’t worry, 8 ounces is more than enough for one person who is not selling, even if that person is a permastoner.
6) Try your hand as a gardener
You can grow up to four plants per residence, as long as you can’t see it from the street. You’ll still want to be careful about this if you’re a renter. Landlords have the authority to ban growing activities, just like they can ban pets and cigarette smoking. Also, growing can be expensive. Since we’re not supposed to be selling it, this could be a difficult hobby to maintain.
7) You can’t take it with you
You can’t travel with marijuana into or out of Oregon—even if you’re headed to fellow legal states like Washington and Colorado.
8) The Incredible Edible Weed
There won’t be any marijuana-infused burgers or pies popping up on your favorite restaurant menus any time soon. The law says you can make edible products at home or receive them as gifts, but you’re not supposed to use them in public.
Though we’ve reached the day for legal weed, the OLCC still has a lot of work to do before the recreational system is ready to roll. The passing of Measure 91 authorized the OLCC to tax, license and regulate weed, but it won’t be accepting license and grower applications until January 2016. The regulation and future of edibles, oil, wax and other concentrates is still hazy. So feel free to recreate after July 1, but be smart when navigating this new—and vague—system.