Oregon – How to Get High When You Can’t Buy
July 1st, 2015 marks the official legalization of recreational cannabis in the state of Oregon. While this may seem like a dream come true for the average cannabis consumer, it’s not all sunshine and smoke clouds in the beaver state. The legislation allows for adults, 21 or older, to both possess and cultivate cannabis. However, it does not provide users with legal establishments where cannabis can be purchased. Cultivators aren’t expected to begin large-scale cultivation until early 2016, and dispensaries will not be functional until late 2016. In short, in Oregon it is legal to possess and grow cannabis, but not to buy or sell it. Luckily for residents of Oregon, a couple of pro-cannabis groups will be solving this problem.
“While it becomes legal to possess and cultivate cannabis, there is no legal place in Oregon to buy marijuana itself or cannabis seeds and starts… Portland NORML will educate the public and our partners will give away thousands of seeds and hundreds of pounds of marijuana this year so Washington State and the black market do not benefit from our new marijuana legality.” – Portland NORML Press Release
In addition to NORML’s plans to help consumers obtain cannabis, other local sponsors are combining efforts to throw an event Friday, July 3rd, called ‘Weed the People’. Presented by The C02 Company, The Portland Mercury and Oregon’s Cannabis Concierge, the event will provide attendees with up to 7 grams of free cannabis, supplied by some of Oregon’s finest cultivators. Furthermore, according to the ‘Weed the People’ event page, the celebration is more than just a group of hippies coming together to smoke cannabis.
“This is more than free weed. This is more than vendors, food and vapes. This is history in the making! Join us for a day to remember!” – ‘Weed the People’ Event Page
While free giveaways will certainly help to solve this problem, the fact that buying and selling cannabis remains illegal will only serve to strengthen black market sales. If this song and dance sounds familiar to you, it is because the same situation can be found in Washington D.C. If you haven’t checked out our three part series, entitled ‘The State of Cannabis – How Free Are You’, then you missed out on the breakdown of Washington D.C. and it’s own nonsensical legislation. Quick Recap – In the District of Columbia, cannabis is recreationally legal for adults 21 and up. However, just like the current head scratcher in Oregon, the buying and selling of cannabis remains prohibited. In essence, unless you have a medical recommendation (which is tough to get in DC), grow your own crop or have a friend that will give you some for free (that happens right?) then you are forced to invest in black market cannabis.
Both Oregon and Washington D.C. are great examples of how legislation can be narrow sighted. The allure and excitement behind a budding cannabis industry has proven to blind voters as it relates to the actual language of successful legislation. While the recreational legalization of cannabis is certainly a stepping-stone in the right direction, it solves only part of the prohibition issue. Cannabis activists and industry supporters have accomplished their primary objective. They successfully cracked open the door to the conversation on prohibition repeal. In fact, 2015 saw more proposed legislation throughout the United States than ever before, with that trend expected to continue in 2016. However, in order to effectively end prohibition entirely, industry supporters need to walk through the doorway and read the writing on the wall. That way, when future legislation gets approved, we will never have this problem again.
What do you think about this ‘Catch 22’ legislation? Should states pass laws that allow use and cultivation without the ability to buy and sell? Join the conversation and comment below!