The legalization of marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular topic across the USA, with several states beginning to adopt the policy due to public pressure and taxation opportunities. Oregon has recently become the fourth state to take advantage of this trend, but not without its own legal stipulations.
What Does This Mean For Oregonians?
Under Measure 91, Oregonians will be allowed to legally own and even grow their own marijuana. These amounts are limited to half a pound (eight ounces) and four cannabis plants respectively. They will also be free to smoke at home, make consumable marijuana products for their own consumption, and even give and receive it as gifts.
What About Tax?
One of the major draws for state governments legalizing marijuana is the taxation, as tax on marijuana can be quite and earner for the state government. Interestingly, however, Oregon is looking set to tax marijuana at a lower rate than the other states who have taken the plunge. House Bill 2041 stipulates that sales should be tax free until January 4th 2016 should they start selling at the end of 2015, increasing to a 17% tax with an option to expand to 20% later should they wish to.
It’s Not Quite Free Yet
As of July 1st, these measures will come into effect. However, lawmakers have not actually set up legal marijuana sales until late in 2016. Some fear that this could lead to the underground market growing their market while people purchase marijuana for personal use waiting for the legal sales. For this reason, some lawmakers are trying to speed up the process to bring legal sales forward to October 1st 2015.
Additionally, though Oregonians will be perfectly within their rights to smoke up at home, they still will not be allowed to smoke in public. Nor will they be entitled to bring marijuana in from any other state, even if purchased legally from one of the three other legal states (Alaska, Colorado, and Washington State). Since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, moving it across state lines is prohibited.