As of this morning, Oregon became the latest state to allow the legal sale of marijuana for recreational use. But some shoppers in the state will have to go pretty far out of their way to do their pot purchasing.
As the Oregonian notes, when state lawmakers drafted Measure 91, the legislation that legalized marijuana, they provided an out for communities that demonstrated an objection to retail weed sales.
If more than 55% of a county voted against Measure 91, the local governments are allowed to ban marijuana sellers. So far, 13 cities — primarily in the eastern half of the state — and six counties — Baker, Malheur, Harney, Crook, Wheeler, and Klamath — have said no to drugs. The ban only applies to unincorporated parts of these counties, adding to the possible confusion over where exactly one can stock up.
For now, retail pot sales in Oregon are only being done through licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Six cities — this time mostly in the western half of the state — have dispensaries, but have banned them from retail sales.
Next fall, another eight cities and one county will be asking local voters to decide on bans against marijuana related businesses.
Beyond legal efforts to limit retail pot sales, a number of communities have ever simply decided to not license any dispensaries. The Oregonian notes that around 20 cities in the Portland area have no dispensaries.
The paper also notes that, in spite of legalized recreational sales, the Oregon law does nothing to prevent employers from using a positive marijuana drug test as a reason for firing an employee — even if you’re not smoking on the job.