Marijuana in Oregon

Medical Marijuana

  • 24 ounces useable marijuana.
  • 6 mature plants (18 seedlings).
  • Physician permission/state registration.
  • Qualifying conditions.

Criminal Penalties


< 1oz: Misdemeanor -- 30 days

> 1 oz: Felony – 10 years

Sale or Distribution

< 1oz. w/out compensation: Misdemeanor – 1 year

> 1oz: Felony – 5 to 20 years


Felony – 20 years

Oregon’s medical marijuana law, Ballot Measure 67, passed with 55 percent of the vote in November 1998. Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Or. Rev. Stat. § 475.300 (2007) protects qualifying patients with physician permission from prosecution for possession, use or cultivation of marijuana under state law.

A registered patient or caregiver pay possess up to 6 mature plants and 24 ounces of useable marijuana.

The program is administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Approved conditions include Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, or treatment for severe pain, severe nausea, seizures or persistent muscle spasms.

The law was amended in 1999 and now requires patients or caregivers to only grow marijuana in one location. Patients must also be diagnosed by their physician at least 12 months prior to arrest in order to use medical-marijuana patient status as an affirmative defense to criminal charges.

Fifteen of every 1,000 Oregonians were medical marijuana patients at the start of 2013.

Medical Marijuana and Criminal Penalties in Oregon

Oregon’s medical marijuana law made no provision for dispensaries, however dozens of outlets, clubs and collectives have cropped up unregulated and are providing medical cannabis to patients. That means millions of potential tax dollars are slipping away. However, states where authorities have sought to regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana have been targeted by federal authorities. Marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act and thus illegal under federal law.

Federal agents have been particularly active in Southern Oregon, where more than a dozen large-scale growing operations have been raided since 2010.

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys continue to see the consequences wrought when growers or dispensaries fail to consult experienced legal counsel. Even in states where medical marijuana is legalized, it often must be used as an affirmative defense against the unfair encroachment of law enforcement. An analysis by the Oregonian found that the medical marijuana program was linked to about 40 percent of pot seized on drug trafficking routes during the first three months of the year.

In 2013, a bill was introduced to establish a system of dispensaries under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, to provide patients, growers and medical marijuana facilities with legitimate access to medical cannabis. The bill would allow such facilities to apply for a license, in much the same way patients and growers are legitimized. The dispensaries would operate in a manner similar to California collectives, where medical cannabis is grown by member patients.

Oregon Medical Marijuana News Archive:

Medical marijuana in Oregon: policymakers look to address problems with program, Oregon Live, Dec. 30, 2012.

Medical marijuana patients -- and plants -- thrive in southern Oregon, Oregon Live, Nov. 10, 2012.

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