Oregon Governor Kate Brown approves recreational marijuana a year ahead of schedule. 

KATU News reports that Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed a bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell pot to recreational users, effective October 1, 2015.

Anyone over the age of 21 will be able to purchase marijuana at a dispensary starting October 1.

This gives the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) a little more than two months to set in place the rules and regulations the dispensaries will have to follow.

In the meantime, marijuana sales will be tax-free until Jan. 4, 2016.  At that point, potential dispensaries and recreational stores can apply for permits.

While the OHA will oversee the early sales of marijuana, the Oregon Liquor Commission (OLC) will take over the more regulated, full-fledged recreational pot market starting in October 2016.

The early sales, even without taxes, were championed by both Republicans and Democrats, as a way to further stamp out the black market.

Here's further information about what's now legal under Oregon's new marijuana laws -- otherwise known as Measure 91 -- as reported by KATU News

  • Under Measure 91, starting July 1, 2015, anyone over 21 in Oregon can possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana, such as dried buds at home and up to one ounce outside the home. 
  • You can consume marijuana at home or on private property. 
  • It is illegal to smoke marijuana in public or to drive while stoned. 
  • You can grow up to four plants per residence at home out of public view. 
  • You can make brownies and other edible products at home and receive them as gifts. You can also give away marijuana and receive it as a gift.
  • It is illegal to buy or sell recreational marijuana in Oregon until October 1, 2015.
  • You also cannot transport it across state lines legally until October 1. That includes buying some from a legal retail outlet in Washington state and bringing it home to Oregon. 
  • Measure 91 will not protect you if your employer prohibits drug use, especially if there is a federal connection, because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. 
  • If your landlord prohibits smoking in your apartment, you can be evicted for smoking marijuana, but not for eating it.

As of October 1, recreational marijuana sales in Oregon will take place through medical marijuana dispensaries. 

The OLC expects it will take some time for retail recreational marijuana growers, processors, wholesalers and sales outlets to be operational. 

Governor Kate Brown is jumpstarting this process by allowing recreational sales this year; the initial legislation was set to legalize recreational marijuana in October 2016. 

But will there be amnesty for pot convictions? Find out just how many people have been locked up for marijuana related incidents in this video: 

At the very least, expungement -- or the sealing of criminal records -- should be part of state legislation once marijuana is legalized.   

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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