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In Oregon, marijuana is now legal — you just can’t buy any

By Oscar Pascual |

While the rest of America looks forward to Independence Day, Oregon is celebrating a new-found independence of their own, as adults can now legally possess and use marijuana in the state as of July 1.

The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act — otherwise known as Measure 91 — has officially taken effect. Voters approved the measure in November 2014 by a 56 percent decision, reports the Marijuana Policy Project.

Under the measure, adults aged 21 and over are now allowed to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants. That went into effect this week.

Oregon joins Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia at the forefront of cannabis legalization.

But unlike Colorado and Washington, Oregon has yet to establish a regulated system for cultivation and sales, which means that there’s no way to actually buy legal recreational cannabis at the moment.

The odd juxtaposition of legalizing pot without providing anywhere to buy it has led to several news outlets explaining the many nuances of the recently-introduced legislation.

Since legal cannabis sales aren’t expected to roll out until late 2016, the Oregonian reports that people will simply have to rely on the generosity of friends to currently obtain marijuana. Pot can be personally grown, given away or shared, but will still be illegal to be sold.

Some will have the bright idea of making a road trip to Washington and bringing weed back, which could bear differing outcomes.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that federal law makes it illegal to to take marijuana across any state border regardless of state laws. On the other hand, Portland police told the Oregonian that smuggling in retail pot from Washington is “not an issue.”

Despite a few hiccups in their first days of legalization, Oregon lawmakers hope to further pave the path for other states to pass cannabis legislation.

“States like Oregon that have ended prohibition and are moving toward a system of regulated sales and cultivation are demonstrating that there is an alternative to prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Regulating marijuana works. It is working in Colorado and Washington, it will work in Oregon and Alaska, and it won’t be long before other states follow suit.”

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