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On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

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Pot Possession Limits May Be Increased
“In light of the pandemic, we should be making staying at home easier”

Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland) has introduced HB 2973 that allows a person 21 years of age and older to deliver or possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana in a public place. The current law is one ounce.

First, it must be clarified that under U.S. law, cannabis is the plant itself, and hemp and marijuana are specific parts of the plant. HB 2973 refers to usable marijuana, which means it’s been cured and tested for a maximum of 6% THC -- the addiction element.

Representative Nosse testified that “In light of the pandemic, I believe we should be making staying at home easier for Oregonians including Oregonians that use cannabis products. For almost all goods you can go to the store and buy larger quantities reducing the number of trips that might be made. I believe it should be the same for cannabis, which has become a way for us to easy anxiety and improve our mental health during stressful times.”

Is Representative Nosse testifying about cannabis or this bill, usable marijuana? There is unlimited purchase of CBD, which is shown to reduce anxiety, pain and inflammation and doesn’t possess the addicting THC. Is this bill a conditioning agent towards more government control to stay home?

Studies have shown that one ounce of marijuana makes approximately 84 joints which equal 14 days of continual high per ounce. One joint at minimum, results in 4 hours of intoxication. Why would anyone need more than one ounce in public unless it is not for their personal use?

Representative Nosse thinks that “current limits aren’t logical. While it’s legal to possess 8 ounces at home, it’s only legal to possess one ounce in public.

This bill is necessary at a time of racial reckoning and social distancing. I think it’s crucial that we recognize the disparage racial impacts we’ve seen in the ticketing and penalties of public possession of cannabis. A 2020 analysis by ACLU concluded that in just about every single state, black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and in some states black people were six, eight, and almost up to ten times more likely to be arrested. Raising the limit will decrease the target on black and what we refer to as BIPOC Oregonians.”

Cassey Houlihand, director of Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association says that consumers prefer buying in ounces because of the price breaks, but if they want to buy their preferred line of products, they have to choose between price breaks or products.

In response to Representative John Lively’s (D-Springfield) question on probable cause for a stop to get ticketed for possession, Houlihand responded, “the charges for possess are an overlay on other reasons for a stop.” So, increasing the legal possession won’t change the traffic stop statistics.

Houlihand further stated, “The artificial limits has made it impossible for the industry to reach its potential.” Addictions know no obstacles, but new customers to addict may be the potential they are looking for.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-07 08:44:45Last Update: 2021-02-07 08:59:36

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