When Oregon voters in 2014 approved the ballot measure legalizing recreational pot, they specified that pot use in public places would remain unlawful.
But as marijuana growing, processing, retailing and consumption have swelled in Oregon, so has the chorus pushing for the right to toke on pipes or joints or inhale from vaporizers in public — whether at pot lounges or in city parks.
Some Oregon lawmakers tried to push the public-smoking bubble in the legislative session that just ended. Senate Bill 307 would have allowed licensed marijuana lounges, where pot smokers and vapers could publicly partake in pot. It also would have allowed public marijuana use at temporary events.
But the bill died in committee, despite the backing of famous former Trail Blazer basketball player Cliff Robinson, now a pot retailer and advocate, and other notables, such as Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Public use of pot remains one of the unresolved features of recreational marijuana legalization in Oregon. People do smoke pot in public, including on streets and in parks. But that’s a violation of state law, a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $3,500 and six months in jail. [Read more at The Register-Guard]