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As of 2023, 21 states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis use, while 37 states have legal medical marijuana programs in place.
It is believed that more and more states will continue to legalize weed. Whether they be for medical reasons or recreational use, though, remains to be seen.
In states such as California, cannabis use for anyone over the age of 18 is legal, but a few states over in Idaho, the laws on cannabis are tougher as the growing, selling, possession, distribution and use of recreational weed are illegal.
But, what about in between in the Beaver State? Is weed legal in Oregon?
Both recreational and medical marijuana use is legal in the state of Oregon. Over recent years, there have been a number of cultural, legal, and legislative events associated with cannabis use, and it was actually the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of weed.
To find out more about the cannabis laws in Oregon, we have compiled this in-depth guide. We will learn about the history of cannabis use in the state, the cultivation of weed in the region, and much more.
When Did Weed Become Legal In Oregon?
Oregon is considered somewhat of a trailblazer in its views on weed. Not only was it the first state to legalize the possession of small amounts of weed, but it was also one of the first to authorize the use of it for medical reasons.
As far back as 1997, there was an attempt to decriminalize having small amounts of cannabis on your person in Oregon, but voters turned this down at the time.
Surveys conducted a year and two years after weed was first decriminalized in Oregon (1974 and 1975), found that two percent of those surveyed said they did not use marijuana as it was unavailable.
From 1999 to 2005, however, the percentage of people in Oregon using weed was 32 to 45 percent higher than the general U.S. population. Oregonians love their weed!
It wasn’t until 2014 that Measure 91 was approved. This legalized the cultivation, sale, and use of nonmedical marijuana for over 21s.
This followed efforts to try and legalize weed by ballot initiative in 1986 and 2012, both of which were rejected by voters.
Weed finally became legal for recreational use in Oregon on July 1, 2015. Since then, Oregon has established a regulated system for the production, processing, and sale of marijuana products.
However, it is still illegal to consume marijuana in public places, and driving under the influence of marijuana is also illegal.
Starting on January 1, 2017, dispensaries were required to obtain an OLCC license to sell cannabis for recreational use.
Within a month-long period from December 2016 to January 2017, the number of licensed retailers selling recreational marijuana increased significantly from 99 to 260, with numerous additional applications being received and processed.
This license continues to this day.
Weed Use In Oregon
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), marijuana is widely available throughout Oregon. In 2003-2004, Oregon was in the top fifth of states for the amount of marijuana used in 12 to 17 years, 18 to 25-year-olds, and 26 and older.
Substance issued a report in 2006 showing that Oregon saw smaller reductions in the number of teenagers using weed since medical marijuana bills were passed.
The national average saw a decrease of 43 percent, but Oregon, Maine, and Nevada were the three states that bucked this trend.
Oregon Laws And Penalties – Possession
Although recreational and medical marijuana use is legal in Oregon, it still has laws in place. For instance, you can only have a certain amount of weed on you at any given time.
If you have too much, you could face penalties.
Here are the laws and penalties surrounding the possession of weed in Oregon:
- 2 oz or less – No Penalty. No incarceration. $0 fine.
- 2 – 4 oz – A violation. No incarceration. $1,000 fine.
- 4 – 8 oz – A misdemeanor. 6 months incarceration. $2,500 fine.
- More than 8 lbs – A felony. 5 years incarceration. $125,000 fine.
- 8 oz or less – No penalty. No incarceration. $0 fine.
- 8 oz – 1 lb – A violation. No incarceration. $1,000 fine.
- 1 – 2 lbs – A misdemeanor. 6 months incarceration. $2,500 fine.
- More than 8 lbs – A felony. 5 years incarceration. $125,000 fine.
Oregon Laws And Penalties – Manufacture, Delivery, Or Distribution
The state of Oregon has also established laws and penalties regarding the manufacturing, delivery, and distribution of marijuana.
Manufacturing any amount of marijuana is considered a felony and can result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $125,000.
However, if the manufacturing takes place within 1,000 feet of school grounds, the penalty becomes more severe, and can result in a 20-year prison sentence, and a fine of $375,000. Personal home gardens and licensed production sites are exempt from this penalty.
When it comes to delivering marijuana, possessing one oz or less of homegrown marijuana without compensation does not result in a penalty.
However, possessing more than one oz but less than 16 oz of homegrown marijuana without compensation is considered a violation and can result in a fine of $2,000. Delivering marijuana to a minor is considered a felony and can result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $125,000.
Similarly, if the delivery takes place within 1,000 feet of school grounds, the penalty becomes more severe and can result in a 20-year prison sentence and a fine of $375,000.
Delivering 150 g or more of marijuana, whether with or without compensation, is punished more severely.
Oregon Laws And Penalties – Cultivation
Oregon’s laws regarding the cultivation of marijuana vary depending on the number of plants grown. Cultivating up to four plants at home does not result in a penalty.
However, growing more than four but less than eight plants is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a six-month prison sentence and a fine of $2,500.
Growing more than 12 plants at home is considered a felony and can result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $125,000.
If the cultivation takes place within 1,000 feet of a school, it becomes a more serious offense, and can result in a 20-year prison sentence, and a fine of $375,000, unless the cultivation is done at home or in a licensed facility.
Find out more about the laws surrounding weed in Oregon here.
Both recreational and medical marijuana use has been decriminalized in Oregon, but laws remain in place for the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana throughout the state.
Learn more about West Coast weed laws and the legal status of cannabis in neighboring states.
- Is weed legal in Alaska?
- Is weed legal in California?
- Is weed legal in Hawaii?
- Is weed legal in Idaho?
- Is weed legal in Washington?
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.