Oregon — While marijuana legalization activists are cheering on the states end to pot prohibition this Wednesday, the way the law is set up has many shaking their heads.
Thanks to the 56 percent of Oregon residents voting in favor of Measure 91 last November, come this Wednesday, all residents 21 and older will legally be allowed to possess and use recreational reefer. There is, however, a catch, no one can sell it or buy it.
If Oregonians want to partake in the pot, they will have to either have it given to them as a gift or buy it on the ‘illegal’ black market.
The reason why it is currently not for sale is that Measure 91 gave control of this plant to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The OLCC has the authority to tax, license and regulate recreational marijuana grown, sold or processed for commercial purposes.
The OLCC won’t even begin taking applications for commercial growers until January of next year. That means that pot shops aren’t to be expected until the fall of 2016.
According to the Statesman Journal,
This disconnect between adults being able to use the plant recreationally but not being able to legally buy it has left many shaking their heads.
And it gets a little complicated federally, as well. The federal government still considers possession and cultivation of pot against the law. Possession typically carries a misdemeanor charge and fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Growing it is a felony, punishable by prison terms and penalties ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.
If the state was trying to make it difficult for law-abiding residents to partake of pot, it succeeded. Russ Belville, head of Portland NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), said the “immaculate conception” is frustrating Oregonians.
In Washington State, their Liquor Control Board threw a wrench into the gears of marijuana regulation too. Seattle’s city attorney, along with the LCB are attempting to stamp out the medical marijuana industry which has existed in the state since the 90’s.
With dollar signs in their eyes, the regulators want to tax medical marijuana at the same grueling 44 percent “sin tax” as recreational pot. In turn, they will be denying those who can barely afford to pay for their beneficial medicine now, all hope of buying it in the future.