Happy Pot Day, Oregon!

As of today, you can now possess, grow and (I’m assuming) consume marijuana in Oregon. The change took effect at midnight, so I’m sure the party atmosphere must be pretty intense about now. (More on that below) But as Oregon Live reports, it’s not exactly a free for all in the grass trade. Despite the things I listed which you can do, there’s still one fairly important transactional activity which is prohibited.

As of today, if you are 21 or older, you can legally possess and grow cannabis in Oregon. That’s right, a pretty historic day.

If you want to mark the day by buying some pot to consume, you’re out of luck. For now, people can only share or give away marijuana and starter plants so you’ll have to hit up a generous friend, though a bill allowing recreational marijuana sales at dispensaries in the fall is making its way through the Oregon Legislature.

Medical marijuana patients, meanwhile, can continue to purchase cannabis at state-regulated dispensaries.

This was a rather odd way to structure the implementation of these laws, but perhaps it was the only way to get them through the legislature. Much like a scene out of Pulp Fiction, it’s legal to have it. It’s legal to grow it. It’s legal to give it away to your friends or to pass out “starter plants” to aspiring growers. But it’s not legal to buy or sell it. I’m trying to think if there is some sort of parallel anywhere else in state laws around the countries, but blue laws and sin laws tend to fall into their own special category when it comes to such questions, at least as compared to more “standard” crimes like murder, assault and theft.

Is the legislature just assuming that everyone is going to launch into a new career in farming? A noble idea I suppose, but hardly practical for people living in the cities in most cases. And perhaps Oregonians are just more generous in nature than their east coast counterparts, but I don’t know how many folks are just in the habit of giving away drugs. Still, I suppose it’s all peace, love and trust falls from here on out. And, as I suspected, the party has already begun.

“This is history in the making,” said Leeyah Pham of Portland as her friends took turns at a marijuana pipe.

Hundreds of people took over the Burnside Bridge’s north sidewalk Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, spilling into the roadway and blocking multiple lanes at various points throughout the night. It was loud and energetic, with activists stirring up the crowd with megaphone-powered chants like “Free the weed” and “F**k the DEA,” people openly smoking marijuana and equally openly sharing it…

“I feel free,” a man exclaimed over the fireworks that erupted seconds after midnight.

FREEDOM, Baby! Just try to remember to go to work in the morning. What’s that? You don’t have a job? Oh, well… then by all means, carry on.