SALEM, OR — Two bills working their way through the Oregon legislature would significantly reduce penalties for marijuana possession offenses in Oregon.
Senate Bill 40 would reclassify marijuana offenses involving the possession of over one ounce, but less than four ounces of marijuana from a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of six months. Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in Oregon has already been reduced to a misdemeanor that carries no possible jail time. The maximum fine for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Oregon is $1,000.
It also reclassifies offenses involving the possession of less than 1/4 ounce of hashish from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 40 passed the full Senate by a vote of 22-7 in late April, and is scheduled for a work session in the House Judiciary Committee this week.
The second bill, Senate Bill 82, would eliminate the suspension of driving privileges for those convicted of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 82 in a 18 to 12 vote, but awaits action from the full Senate.
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