Marijuana and housing laws in Portland Oregon

marijuana grow operation

You don’t want to be caught with this scene in your back yard

In just one week recreational marijuana will legally be sold in the state of Oregon, though only in limited quantities and it will be available only in medical marijuana stores this year. However, home owners have been able to legally grow up to 4 plants per residence (regardless of the number of adults residing in the residence) in their own backyard since July 15th. More than 4 plants is considered a “grow” operation and must be registered as a business. Grow operations are not permitted in residential areas.

As a home owner, it is highly recommended that plants grown for your own use be kept behind a gated fence, and not taller than fence level. This is just a common sense security precaution. If you have plants above fence level, you are inviting law enforcement to investigate your garden to ensure you are not growing more than the legally permitted 4 plants, and perhaps worse yet, you are almost encouraging vandalism.

Ironically, even if you are growing the legal 4 plants, each adult (21 years of age or greater) is permitted to have only 8 ounces of usable (ready to smoke) marijuana inside your house, or 1 ounce on your person in any public location at any time. This includes decks and patios where cigarette smoking might be legal at a bar.

If you are not a home owner, be aware that most community gardens, apartments, condo developments, and even some HOAs have prohibited growth of marijuana within their legal boundaries. This is not a state law, but one that is managed by each locale individually.

While you are permitted to carry marijuana on your person, you are not permitted to smoke it in any public place.

Driving under the influence of marijuana

Do not drive if you have been smoking weed. Oregon DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants) covers any intoxicating substance, including medical marijuana, so if you are stopped, you can be cited for DUII and taken to jail.

As most marijuana users know, this drug stays in your system for at least a week or more, so until recently, it had not been possible to accurately test for recent marijuana use.

But according to an article in Mother Jones,

“Oral fluid sampling could be the answer for law enforcement. The driver suspected of impairment is mouth swabbed at roadside and the saliva is placed in a machine, which rapidly prints out a result. This technology is fairer than urinalysis because it is only sensitive to recent marijuana use rather than use that happened a day ago or a week ago.

Of the devices the researchers tested in the study, the Dräger Drug Test 5000 had the best results. Assuming it doesn’t cost a mint, this technology could be a breakthrough for law enforcement as well as an important civil rights protection for people suspected of drug-impaired driving.”

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