Oregon: Governor Signs Laws Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties

Oregon: Governor Signs Laws Reducing Marijuana Possession PenaltiesSalem, OR: Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber this week signed two separate measures into law reducing penalties associated with the possession of marijuana.

Senate Bill 40 amends the state criminal code to reclassify marijuana offenses involving the possession of over one ounce, but less than four ounces of marijuana, from a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by no more than six-months in prison. It also reclassifies offenses involving the possession of less than 1/4 ounce of hashish from a felony to a Class B misdemeanor. The measure also reduces the maximum fine associated with civil violations involving the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana from $1,000 to no more than $650.

Senate Bill 82 eliminates the suspension of driving privileges for persons cited for possessing one ounce or less of cannabis. The law does not amend existing state law mandating the suspension of driving privileges for those marijuana offenders convicted of possessing greater quantities of the substance.

Both laws took effect on Monday.

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.