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Sheriff Waits On State To Refine Marijuana Law

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#1 KnuckleDragger


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Posted 31 December 2014 - 10:37 AM

The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office can’t tell how the department will respond to the recent legalization of marijuana until the state legislature sets the legal parameters.

Sheriff Steve Rogers told the Chieftain, “I’ve had a lot of questions, people asking different things. At this point, we just don’t know because the legislature still has to write what the law is going to say, or how it will be handled.”

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has the task of marijuana sales and production regulation, but the law doesn’t actually go into effect until July 1 of 2015, Rogers said.

Wallowa County instituted a one-year moratorium on the sale of marijuana through dispensary outlets, as did all Wallowa County cities. The moratorium ends in the summer of 2015.

Rogers said at least one Oregon county wants to undercut the Oregon recreational use law by passing a county ordinance prohibiting the use of marijuana in any way outside of medical purposes. Rogers said he didn’t know if such an ordinance could withstand legal challenge. “It might be interesting to see what happens with that whole thing,” he said.

Under the old law, possession of less than an ounce marijuana amounted to a violation, while medical marijuana is legal, so Rogers said he didn’t foresee many changes in his department’s drug protocol. “Unless you’re a minor, then you’re going to get it the same as you would for possession of alcohol. Of course, this is just conjecture at this point,” the sheriff said.

Rogers did say what concerned him more than people smoking marijuana, was the idea of people driving under the influence of marijuana. “There’s no science right now that makes it easy to process that. You can pick it up by blood or urine tests, but you can’t do it without a search warrant. The state of Washington is a year ahead of us. Maybe they’ll have the science figured out by the time we have to deal with it,” Rogers said.

If a local policeman pulls over a suspected impaired driver who does not register on the Breathalyzer, the officer has little recourse but to contact a Drug Recognition Expert officer. The nearest DRE officer is located in La Grande, Rogers said.

Rogers voiced concern about marijuana product amounts that will be allowed under the law. These include a half-pound of dried marijuana along with four plants, a pound of marijuana “product” and 4.5 pounds of marijuana liquid, as long as it is not readily viewable from a public area or within 1,000 feet of a school. “That seems weird, because with a medical marijuana card, you can grow it wherever you want,” the sheriff said.

Sometime after the first of the year Rogers expects the county commissioners to contact him to discuss the county’s law enforcement response to legalized marijuana in the future. “At the moment, there’s not enough information yet to make any decisions on how things are going to go,” Rogers said.

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#2 plant boy

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 07:18 AM

Thanks KD and all the best in 2015 , keep up the jokes they are a great way to start the day

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