SALEM, OR — Lawmakers in the Oregon legislature have voted to approve two marijuana reform bills, sending them to the desk of Governor John Kitzhaber for approval.
Senate Bill 40 reclassifies marijuana offenses involving the possession of over one ounce, but less than four ounces of marijuana from a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of six months.
The bill also reclassifies offenses involving the possession of less than 1/4 ounce of hashish from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Possession of an ounce or less is already a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and caries no possible jail time.
Senate Bill 82 eliminates the suspension of driving privileges for those convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, which affects an estimated 5,000 Oregon residents per year.
Both bills received strong bi-partisan support in both chambers of the legislature.
A separate measure that would would license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state passed the House on Monday, and is awaiting Senatorial consideration.