Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) has long protected the possession, distribution and manufacture of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Less widely known is that these protections extend also to "every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its resin."
On Thursday, the Oregon Court of Appeals reinstated marijuana distribution charges against Amanda Orr and others. In February of 2011, the Washington County Circuit Court ordered all evidence seized by the police during a search of her home to be suppressed. The Court reasoned that the search warrant which authorized the search had been issued in error. Simply put, the warrant was not itself based on evidence that supported probable cause to believe that Ms. Orr and others were engaged in the unlawful growing and distribution of marijuana.
A trio of legislative bills recently passed by the oregon legislature have wrought a lot of change in Oregon's marijuana regulation. First Senate Bill 82, signed into law and effective July 1, 2013 eliminates the 6 month driver's license suspension for those found guilty of the violation of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
Two recent articles in the Oregonian, also here and also here, highlight the hazy and confusing status of marijuana laws in Oregon. While our neighbor to the North has moved forward with the legalization of personal use quantitties of marijuana, Oregon still struggles with an archaic patchwork of laws criminalizing marijuana possession and distribution.
Mark Cossette is a convicted felon. All because he got caught smoking .38 grams of hash instead of a little marijuana. It might also have something to do with his lawyer's failure to preserve an argument on appeal.
The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington states has raised national interest in the legalization effort here in Oregon. Oregon marijuana advocates attended a town hall meeting this past Sunday and listened to strategic advice from Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington D.C. His advice? Lay low until 2016.
On Monday, a Grants Pass man was sentenced to one decade in federal prison for drug and gun crimes related to the cultivation of marijuana. The 37-year-old was reportedly registered with the state to grow medical marijuana. After a four-day trial back in June, a jury returned a guilty verdict on charges of conspiracy and manufacture of marijuana and possession of unregistered firearms.
In our previous post, we began speaking about current efforts in several states to legalize marijuana. Washington, Colorado and Oregon are all looking at the possibility. As we noted in our last post, though, while efforts seem to be making progress in Washington and Colorado, they seem to be struggling in Oregon.
The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association has recently weighed in on the Measure 80 and offered its official endorsement, joining groups like the NAACP and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555. Measure 80 or the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, as our Portland readers know, proposes to regulate cannabis much the same way liquor is regulated.