Oregon: Lawmakers Give Final Approval to Measures to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

Members of the Oregon House and Senate have given final approval to two separate legislative measures, Senate Bill 40 and Senate Bill 82, to reduce penalties related to certain marijuana possession offenses.

Senate Bill 40 amends the 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. 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 fine presently associated with civil violations involving the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

Senate Bill 82 eliminates the suspension of driving privileges for those cited civilly for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.

Both bills now await action from Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber. If signed into law, the changes will take effect immediately upon passage.

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