The passage of House Bill 3460 (still awaiting Governor Kitzhaber’s signature), establishing licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries, capped off an amazing legislative session for the Oregon cannabis community. While ending cannabis prohibition for all adults, as proposed under House Bill 3371, seemed to dominate most of the headlines, less-controversial cannabis law reforms were able to fly under the radar and pass, usually with bipartisan support. The Oregon Legislature added PTSD as a qualifying condition under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), stopped taking away driver’s licenses for under an ounce convictions and decreased penalties for both unauthorized possession and cultivation of cannabis.
Hopefully, the Oregon Legislature, as they have signaled, will lead on the need to establish a regulated cannabis supply system for all adults by referring out HB 3371, or something similar, to Oregon voters during the February 2014 session. If not, cannabis law reform advocates are poised to gather signatures and place a legalization measure on the November 2014 ballot.
New Approach Washington successfully placed Initiative 502 on the ballot. The legalization measure garnered more votes than President Barack Obama in November 2012 and allows adults over 21 to legally possess one ounce of cannabis and it decriminalize the production of industrial hemp. A provision that establishes a per se DUI penalty for cannabis use does concern cannabis activists.
Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol‘s initiative passed with a strong majority in 2012. The legalization measure allows adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to 6 plants. The measure also allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp and a few brave, patriotic farmers have already started hemp plots.
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation helped pass a cannabis decriminalization measure in St. Louis and is still working on a measure in Springfield. SMCR is aiming to place a legalization measure on the ballot in 2016, if not 2014.
Alaska cannabis law reform activists are working to gather the 30,000 signatures to place a legalization measure on the 2014 primary ballot.
The Portland City Council will consider a measure to allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. If the council doesn’t pass the measure, the proposal will go before Portland voters.