Oregon Governor Signs Cannabis Reform Bill
Governor Kate Brown has signed House Bill 3400 into law, a comprehensive measure to implement Measure 91, in addition to reforming the state’s cannabis laws by removing most felony charges and allowing for expungements
In addition to addressing the implementation of Measure 91, which legalized cannabis possess and cultivation on July 1st (with retail outlets expected to open next year), House Bill 3400 contains broad sentencing reform provisions that includes reducing most cannabis felonies to misdemeanors or lesser felonies with significantly reduced sentences.
The new law also allows individuals to apply to have prior cannabis convictions expunged if they were convicted of a crime that’s now legal under the state’s new legalization law (which allows for the possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis at a private residence or an ounce in public, and the cultivation of up to four plants).
“A felony drug conviction carries significant collateral consequences that can mean the loss of public assistance, educational opportunities, employment, and housing,” says Tamar Todd, Director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. “With this new law, Oregon is not only taking a bold step forward to end the war on drugs, but is actively addressing and reversing the terrible consequences of that war.”
According to the Drug Policy Alliance; “The reforms will apply to thousands of Oregonians who were previously convicted of marijuana-related felonies. There are approximately 78,319 marijuana convictions included in the Oregon Computerized Criminal History file that have the potential to become eligible for the set aside process.”
Below is a chart explaining the changes made by House Bill 3400.
|Crime||Current Max Penalty||Max Penalty under House Bill 3400|
|Unlawful delivery||If the delivery is for consideration, it is a Class B felony. Maximum 10 years in prison. $250,000 fine.
If the delivery is not for consideration, it is a Class C felony. Maximum 5 years in prison and $125,000 fine.
|Class A misdemeanor. Maximum 1 year in jail. $6,250 fine. If the delivery is for no consideration and consists of less than one ounce, then it is a violation.|
|Unlawful possession of more than the legal amount||Class C felony. Maximum 5 years in prison. $125,000 fine.||Class A misdemeanor. Maximum 1 year in jail. $6,250 fine.|
|Unlawful manufacture||Class B felony. Maximum 10 years in prison. $250,000 fine. No set aside of conviction allowed.||Class C felony. Maximum 5 years in prison. $125,000 fine. 3-year waiting period to have conviction set aside.|
|Unlawful possession by a minor||Class C felony. Maximum 5 years in prison. $125,000 fine. (For possession of over 4 oz., up to 8 oz.)||If more than 8 ounces, it is a Class A misdemeanor. Eligible forest aside. (Unclear the parameters of expungement as a minor, but the “set aside” provision will apply once a person ages out as a minor.)
If more than 1 ounce, but less than 8 ounces, it is a Class B misdemeanor.
If it is 1 ounce or less, it is a specific fine violation.
|Unlawful delivery to a minor by a person under 18 years by a person 21 years or older||Class A felony. Maximum 20 years in prison. $375,000 fine. No set aside of conviction allowed.||Class C felony. Maximum 5 years in prison. $125,000 fine. 3-year waiting period to have conviction set aside.|