Portland NORML

A new chapter of NORML will launch in Portland to time with the 2015 legislative session.

A lot of work needs to be done between now and July 1.

That’s the day cannabis becomes legal, recreationally, in Oregon. Here are a few things in the category of “weed news” this week.

The “listening tour” begins

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has the tall task of implementing rules for legal weed in Oregon. Starting this month, the agency will begin what it’s calling a series of ” listening tours,” town hall-style meetings around the state to gather feedback on how it should roll out the new law. The tour will kick off with events in Pendleton and Baker City.

“We need to hear firsthand from local residents in Baker City, Pendleton and nearby communities,” said OLCC Chairman Rob Patridge in a statement. “OLCC is committed to a transparent and inclusive public process to help us implement the law in a way that protects children, keeps our communities safe and brings the recreational marijuana industry into the regulated market.”

OLCC will announce more cities soon.

Keep Portland… NORML?

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, arguably the foremost group that works to pass legalization efforts around the country, is setting up shop in Portland with the launch of a city chapter. The group plans to “represent the interests of the adult marijuana consumers” by actively lobbying during the 2015 legislative session that begins in February. The group has held an Oregon chapter for years.

We’re number three! We’re number three!

In a new report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oregon ranks as the third-highest state for marijuana use in the country. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health asked people 12 and older if they had used marijuana in the past month. Nearly 14 percent of Oregon respondents said “yes,” placing the state just behind Rhode Island (15.6 percent) and Vermont (14.1 percent). Washington, D.C., which also just voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2014, came in at No. 4 with a tally of 13.5 percent.

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