New bill aims to protect recreational marijuana buyers from federal enforcement
A new bill before lawmakers in Salem is designed to protect people who purchase marijuana in Oregon. It is considered emergency legislation, which means that if passed, it would take effect immediately.
This bill comes on the heels of comments from the federal government about pushing back on the six states that have legalized marijuana. Back on Feburary 24, 2017, White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated, "I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it."
When asked about medical marijuana, Spicer replied, "that is very different than recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking in to."
Right now, when you buy marijuana in Oregon, the business records your identification information to ensure you are not buying more than the legal amount per day.
Matt Price, the CEO of Cannabliss & Co. in Portland, says the need for minimal identification information is to ensure consumers are staying within the legal limit.
"If I have to purge the system and come up with some crazy way to track individuals it would be easy for people to abusing those powers," Price said.
Senate Bill 863 does two things. First, marijuana retailers or dispensaries would not be able to keep anyone's information for more than 48 hours. Second, it would make it illegal for the retailer or dispensary to give anyone's information to anyone else.
On the bottom of the bill's summary it states the emergency act is "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety."
Price says he believes this bill was based on fear, not logic.
"There is a lot of fear in a new administration I think these guys are going to be a little more stringent but I don’t think they are going to be messing with any licensed legal state business," Price said.
Senator Floyd Prozanski is one of the key supporters of the bill he says the goal is to ensure voters got what they were expecting when they passed Measure 91. He says the hope would be to get the marijuana industry to be more like the alcohol industry, meaning marijuana stores check age but don't keep consumers' personal information.
The public hearing on the bill is at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the State House before the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legislation.
Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine and Massachusetts have legalized recreational marijuana usage.