To whom it may concern,
As an Oregon resident who recreationally partakes in the consumption of cannabis, there are a few questions that have come up more recently and have been briefly discussed, as January 4th is less than a few weeks away. On the oregon.gov website on the Frequently Asked Questions page pertaining to marijuana and personal use; there are still questions and answers that should continue to be fully addressed as rules and regulations continue to change and develop. My personal question is: Other than being a homeowner, where are Oregonians legally allowed to use or consume cannabis recreationally? The following questions and answers can be found here: http://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx#Personal_Use
Q: What is meant by “useable” marijuana?
A: Useable marijuana refers to dried marijuana flowers or leaves. In other words, marijuana that is ready to smoke.
Q: Can I grow marijuana at home and when?
A: Yes, with limits. As of July 1, 2015, Oregonians can home grow of up to four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live in the residence. Four adults in one residence does not mean 16 plants. The limit is four per residence.
Q: Can a landlord tell tenants not to grow recreational marijuana or smoke it in rental units?
A: Measure 91 does not affect existing landlord/tenant laws.
Q: Can I smoke marijuana in a bar/restaurant?
A: No. Marijuana cannot be smoked or used in a public place. The OLCC considers any establishment with a state liquor license to be public, including patios or decks set aside for smokers. Allowing marijuana use may put an establishment’s liquor license in jeopardy.
Q: What is the definition of a public place?
A: Measure 91 defines a public place as “a place to which the general public has access and includes, but is not limited to, hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation.”
After thoroughly going over the questions and answers posed, there are more questions that have emerged. As an Oregonian we have the legal right to “home grow” (under Measure 91) up to four plants per residence, yet Measure 91 does not affect existing landlord/tenant laws. Does this mean that being a homeowner is the only viable option if we choose to “home grow”? In other words; if a landlord decides to disallow (under contract) tenants to “home grow” what are our other options? More specifically, can the term “residence” be further clarified?
Another topic of concern is the consumption or use of cannabis in a “public place”. Measure 91 defines a “public place” as “a place that is accessible to the general public and is not limited to hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation”.
This raises some other questions: If Oregon residents who are 21 and older and are legally allowed to purchase and consume “useable marijuana” where exactly are they permitted to use it? If a landlord doesn’t allow a tenant to “home grow”, consuming on the premises is most likely prohibited as well. If medical or recreational cannabis users are unable to consume or use cannabis in “public places”, which essentially means anywhere that is open to the public or is being used in connection with public transportation, where are they able to use or consume marijuana other than in the privacy of a home they own?
We are not permitted to use or consume cannabis in any public place (including dispensaries), as of January 1st all cannabis cafes and marijuana lounges are considered illegal, and using cannabis in your car can get you an OUI (operating while intoxicated) charge. There must be a solution. Recreational marijuana has been legal since October, yet the state is still setting limitations on the ability to use or consume recreationally.
With that being said; without violating any Oregon state laws what do you suggest for Oregon residents that use marijuana? How can we continue to embrace legalization but not have the ability to practice freely and still abide by the state laws? What are other ways to address this topic and acknowledge that this can pose as a real issue? If the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the smell of cannabis smoke isn’t inherently offensive, then why can’t people smoke in public places? In short, how can we develop a way where cannabis users can follow state laws and use when and where they please as long as it isn’t bothering anybody else? Just some subjects to highly consider as you concentrate on the changes coming in 2016.