Possession limits and legal behaviors

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Registration in the Medical Marijuana Program allows patients to grow up to seven Cannabis plants. It allows the caregiver to grow seven plants if the patient is not growing. There is some ambiguity regarding Cannabis grown at more than one location but in general as long as the number of plants between one patient/caregiver group does not exceed seven, the parties are protected. The law allows growers to flower up to 3 plants at a time and possess up to one ounce of dried (i.e. usable) Cannabis for each flowering plant. Patients may exceed the seven-plant limit if they obtain written documentation from the physician affirming that the greater amount is medically necessary. The Oregon Attorney General's Guidelines also state that the law allows more than seven plants and recommends that the patient's physician would need to agree that the greater allowance is legitimate. Unfortunately the OMMA does not clearly spell out a medical method for patients to establish greater need. Proving in court the greater need presupposes that the patient may have to get arrested and contest the charge.

If the patient (or caregiver) has three flowering plants then s/he is allowed three ounces of dried Cannabis. The law does not allow patients to flower more than three (3) plants at a time. Thus, if the grower has two flowering plants, s/he is allowed to possess two ounces of usable Cannabis. These limits do not appear to be a problem for police unless the total number of plants exceeds seven (7). If a caregiver is growing Cannabis for the patient at another location than the patient's residence, the patient can only legally possess one (1) ounce of dried Cannabis. (See chapter 7 for a discussion of the convoluted legislative maneuverings that clouded the question of possession limits.)

Renewal occurs when the patient completes and submits a renewal form and encloses the annual fee.

Registration in the Medical Marijuana Program allows patients to grow up to seven Cannabis plants. It allows the caregiver to grow seven plants if the patient is not growing.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act allows patients or caregivers to transport up to one (1) ounce of dried Cannabis.

Under provisions of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Cannabis and plants may not be sold.

...since cultivation places the financial burden on the caregiver it might be interpreted that a patient may pay for the expenses incurred by the caregiver to grow Cannabis.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act prohibits use of Cannabis in "public," which includes highways, even if the patient is not driving.

Black-market Cannabis may also be contaminated with dirt, debris, bugs, seeds, other plants, or microorganisms. It may also be adulterated with harmful chemical residues like pesticides.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act allows patients or caregivers to transport up to one (1) ounce of dried Cannabis. Patients and caregivers may also transfer up to this amount of Cannabis (or up to seven live plants) to another registrant. Live plants are not "usable marijuana" and therefore they may weigh over an ounce. Since three of the seven plants must be flowering, patients may be at risk if they transport seven plants. To be safe, most patients only transport four plants at a time. Caution should be used to ensure that all parties involved in this transaction are registered with the program. If a registered patient gives Cannabis or plants to a non-registered person, s/he is breaking Oregon law. If the registered patient receives plants from someone who is not registered with the medical marijuana program, the unregistered person is breaking Oregon law. The patient is not. Even so, the patient is associating with someone who is committing a crime and wily prosecutors could manipulate the law by charging the patient with a "conspiracy" to commit a crime. For this reason, registered patients should deal with other registered patients or caregivers in any medicine or plant transactions.

Under provisions of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Cannabis and plants may not be sold. Selling herbal Cannabis is a violation of the Medical Marijuana Program and may result in prosecution. However, since cultivation places the financial burden on the caregiver it might be interpreted that a patient may pay for the expenses incurred by the caregiver to grow Cannabis. (These expenses can be substantial and include electricity, fertilizer, soil, water, lights, fans, Carbon Dioxide [CO2] generators, and timers.) Reimbursement for expenses may actually be allowed under the OMMA, but the issue has not been the subject of litigation as of 2001. There is a strong argument to be made that paying for electricity and equipment is not selling Cannabis but assisting in its cultivation. Until the issue gets litigated, patients and caregivers should understand that exchanging money for Cannabis attracts police attention. Not keeping records and using cash is easy. Carefully documenting electricity bills and other expenses takes a little work and time, but it shows exactly what the true costs of production are. The patient and caregiver should agree on what accounting method to use. In any case, patients and caregivers should carry their registry I. D. card with them any time they transport Cannabis or plants. (Medical Cannabis labels are provided in Appendix J to officially stamp the transported Cannabis as "medicine.")

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act prohibits use of Cannabis in "public," which includes highways, even if the patient is not driving. Caregivers must also understand that the law does not permit them to use Cannabis unless they are also "patients." The penalty in Oregon for simple possession of under an ounce of Cannabis is equivalent to a traffic citation and carries a maximum fine of $1000.

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