Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber has officially signed into law two measures which drastically reduce the penalties associated with most cannabis-related charges in the state – Senate Bill 40 and Senate Bill 82.
Under these two proposals, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis will no longer result in a misdemeanor charge and the automatic suspension of a person’s driver’s license, and instead will be a civil infraction (a ticket).
In addition, Senate Bill 40 will reduce the penalties associated with numerous other cannabis-related charges. Here’s a summary of the changes:
- Possession of one to four ounces of marijuana will be reduced to a class Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of six months in jail. Under current law, possessing anything over an ounce is a felony that can garner up to 10 years in prison.
- Possession of anything more than four ounces will be reduced to a maximum of five years in prison, half of the current maximum charge of 10 years.
- Manufacturing marijuana will be reduced to a Class B felony, punishable by maximum of 10 years in prison – currently cultivating any amount in Oregon, if not a qualified patient, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
These two measures significantly improve the situation in Oregon in regards to their cannabis laws. While these changes take place, advocates continue to work towards full legalization.