Oregon was the second state to legalize medical marijuana. It remains a forerunner in development.
While it may be relatively unknown, Oregon was the second state to legalize the use of medical marijuana within its borders. Just two years after California legalized it in 1996, Oregon passed Measure 67 in 1998, making its use legal in the state.
As is often the case, the vote split along geographic lines: The counties that supported Measure 67 were generally along or near the coast while the inland counties were generally against it. It is easy to find a medical marijuana store in Portland as the city is among the areas that helped vote the measure into law. Back then, there was both interest in and support for developing the ability to distribute products for this newly created market. Today, the market is more mature, but Portland remains an important hub where one can find specialty stores that really know what they are doing.
In 2005, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1085. This bill, which took effect January 1, 2006, increased the amount of cannabis that patients with the proper permits may possess. The limit had originally been seven plants total. However, they were limited to only three mature ones along with three ounces of cannabis. Under the new bill, the limit went up to 18 immature plants, six mature plants, and 24 ounces of cannabis. This was good news for patients in need of regular doses to manage chronic conditions. Additionally, patients who stayed within the limits could pursue an affirmative defense if put on trial for failure to register with the state.
There have also been several failed measures. In 2004, Measure 33 was proposed. The main intent was to create state-run dispensaries. It was voted down. In 2007, a bill was proposed prohibiting the use of medical marijuana by law enforcement officials. This was also unsuccessful.
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