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Oregon becomes fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana

By
Tomas Monzon

PORTLAND, Ore., July 1 (UPI) -- Recreational marijuana use was made legal in Oregon on Wednesday.

The passage of Measure 91, which began in November 2014 as the Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative on the statewide ballot, now allows the use of recreational pot for individuals 21 and older. It also allows the growing of up to four marijuana plants and gifting of small amounts.

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Use of marijuana in public remains illegal; use is limited to private property. Up to 8 ounces of marijuana may be stored inside and a single ounce outside, with a maximum of four plants growing per residence, out of public view.

Sale or purchase of marijuana is prohibited until licensed retail shops open. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin taking applications for such shops beginning Jan. 4.

Transporting marijuana across state borders, even to neighboring Washington, where recreational use is legal, remains prohibited. This is because marijuana is not legal at a national level.

Individuals gathered atop the Burnside Bridge in Portland on Tuesday night before midnight to await the law's implementation.

The gathering was organized by Russ Belville and the Portland chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and featured smokers celebrating their newfound freedom in unison.

Free marijuana for those 21 and over was also distributed.

Oregon joins Washington, Colorado and Alaska as the fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana. The District of Columbia also allows individuals to possess, grow and privately smoke it.

Meanwhile, 23 states, Guam and the District of Columbia have approved medical marijuana use.

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