While views on marijuana are rapidly changing throughout the United States, and especially here in Oregon, the drug is still highly regulated and often illegal. Even with laws that allow recreational marijuana use, the sale and distribution of marijuana is highly regulated. People who choose to sell, distribute or transport the drug will still face serious state or federal charges.
When Oregon residents go off to a college or university, they expect to gain a little freedom. For many college students, it is the first time they are living on their own away from their parents and from rules. It is a big responsibility that many handle well. Others use college as an opportunity to explore the world and test boundaries. Recreational drug use is sometimes one way in which college students experiment with their new found freedom. While this recreational drug use may not seem like a big deal, it can, in some situations, result in drug charges.
This blog has on many occasions discussed aspects of Oregon's drug laws. In particular, its marijuana laws have been discussed at length. However, people should know that as of July 1, 2015 big changes are coming to Oregon. When Measure 91 goes into effect, Oregonians will have the right to grow, buy and use marijuana. Although people will have these privileges, there are significant rules that must be followed. People need to understand their rights in order to avoid drug charges.
A large scale investigation has led to several arrests in the Portland area. According to reports, a group of eight people have indicted on federal charges following the investigation. This investigation resulted in the execution of several search warrants. Reports claim that at least 12 places were searched by federal agents as the indictments were issued.
Oregon residents may not understand that they can face drug charges in one of two courts -- state court and federal court. It is a crime under Oregon state law and under federal law to produce, possession, distribute or manufacture certain illegal drugs. Being caught doing any of these activities can lead to serious criminal charges and penalties. Typically, however, the penalties for federal drug charges are much more severe than state charges. Therefore, the accused usually want to have the person's case stay in state court.
In a recent post, this blog presented the story of a local drug arrest. In that case, connections were being made between the arrest and the popular television show "Breaking Bad" since the man arrested was a science teacher accused of manufacturing methamphetamines like the main character in the television show. This case may have left people wondering about the penalties for being convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines in Oregon.
While drug crimes are sometimes glamorized by movies and television, drug charges come with serious consequences in Oregon. One recent case is drawing attention for its similarities to the well-known T.V. series "Breaking Bad," in which a high school chemistry teacher starts producing methamphetamine after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
As many Oregon residents likely know, Oregon has a medical marijuana program that allows certain people to legally use, possession and grow marijuana within the state. The people who qualify for the medical marijuana program are highly regulated and if they do not strictly follow the rules of the program, then they can face criminal punishments.
Multiple law enforcement agencies can be involved investigating a person for criminal behavior. When this occurs, every person involved in the investigation must respect the person's constitutional rights during the investigation. This means that inherent right to privacy must be respected and that police must obey search and seizure rules -- including executing a search warrant before searching a person's home.
In a recent article, this blog highlighted the arrest of one Portland woman for possession of heroin. In that case, police accused the woman of using heroin in her car while her child was present. Many people are likely aware that heroin is illegal in Oregon. However, people may not be aware of the different drug charges that a person can face as a result of heroin.