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.
Federal authorities have waged an aggressive campaign lately against outdoor marijuana gardens in Western states this Summer. According to a CNN article here, in California alone over $1 billion worth of marijuana has been seized in outdoor marijuana garden raids in the last two months. These raids will conitnue through the late-Summer-Fall outdoor harvest season.
This November, Oregonians will have the opportunity to vote on whether to legalize the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana within the state. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act was certified to go to a popular vote as Measure 80 this Fall. Measure 80 ("the Act") would replace or supersede all state marijuana laws except those that relate to driving under the influence of intoxicants and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. The Act seeks to implement this legalization through a variety of means, and even refers to itself as a "scientific experiment" conducted by the citizens of Oregon.
President Obama is apparently planning on putting greater focus on the War on Drugs if elected to a second term. And although it is not yet clear what policies might result from the effort, it may mean that those partaking in medical marijuana programs have more to be concerned about.
Following a recent investigation by federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, a martial arts instructor and three other individuals have been charged with selling excess marijuana under Oregon's medical marijuana program, and then selling it illegally.