Term: Cannabis in Oregon
Cannabis in Oregon is legal for both medical and recreational use. In recent decades, the U.S. state of Oregon has had a number of legislative, legal, and cultural events surrounding use of cannabis (marijuana, hashish, THC, kief, etc.). Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, and among the first to authorize its use for medical purposes. An attempt to recriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis was turned down by Oregon voters in 1997.
From 1999 through 2005, the ratio of Oregonians using cannabis outpaced the general United States population by 32–45%. In surveys conducted in 1974 and 1975—one and two years after decriminalization—it was found that 2% of respondents said they did not use marijuana or cannabis because they were unavailable, 4% for legal or law enforcement reasons, 53% reported lack of interest, and 23% cited health dangers. The remaining 19% were using or had used it at one time.
Measure 91 was approved in 2014, legalizing non-medical cultivation and uses of marijuana. It followed perennial, unsuccessful efforts to legalize marijuana by ballot initiative, including in 1986 and in 2012 which made it to the ballot, but voters rejected.
In 2015, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed an emergency bill declaring marijuana sales legal to recreational users from dispensaries starting October 1, 2015. State officials began working on establishing a regulatory structure for sales of marijuana, and taxing of such sales, restructuring the existing Oregon Liquor Control Commission into the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) to oversee it. Effective January 1, 2017, dispensaries were no longer permitted to sell cannabis for recreational use unless they applied for, and received, an OLCC license for such sales. During the one-month span from early December 2016 to early January 2017, the number of retailers licensed to sell recreational marijuana grew from 99 to 260, and hundreds more applications had been received and were being processed.