The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act: What Happens if It Passes in November?

by CarlosSantiago on October 19, 2012

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One of the proposed initiatives that Oregon residents will have the opportunity to vote on in the upcoming November state general election is the Cannabis Tax Act. If this act passes, the laws governing the sale, growing, and use of cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, pot, or weed, will drastically change.

This act has been brought to the attention of Oregon residents in an effort to improve general safety, decrease black-market sales, and contribute additional resources and money to the Oregon economy. Similar to the laws restricting the consumption and sale of liquor, this act proposes to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults. According to the proposed legislation, marijuana would be allowed to be commercially grown and sold to adults 21 or older in licensed stores and establishments. These sales would be taxed, bringing in an estimated $140 million that would be distributed to drug treatment programs, the general state fund, and public school drug education programs. An additional two percent of the proceeds would go towards funding the hemp industry.

Another condition of this act states that personal use and growth of marijuana by adults without possession of a license would be legal. This is a drastic departure from Oregon’s current laws, which penalize anyone found with marijuana on their body or property. As the law currently stands, some of the criminal charges and penalties a person found growing, selling, or using marijuana may face include:

  • A violation for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana or delivering less than give grams of marijuana
  • A class C misdemeanor for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school or delivering less than five grams of marijuana within 100 feet of a school
  • A class B felony for possessing more than one ounce of marijuana or delivering more than one ounce of marijuana
  • A class A felony for delivering marijuana to a minor or delivering or manufacturing marijuana within 1000 feet of a school

While the act wouldn’t necessarily invalidate all of these criminal charges that a person could face, it would eliminate penalties for possession of small amounts for personal use by an adult, in addition to the many other changes it would bring to Oregon criminal and drug law. However, until the law is passed, persons found selling, manufacturing, or in possession of marijuana will still find themselves possibly facing serious criminal charges and penalties, making the support of a criminal defense lawyer invaluable.

Author Bio:
Carlos Santiago is an avid legal blogger. He contributes regularly to

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