In Oregon as in other states, 2014 may well be remembered as the year same sex marriage became legal after a federal judge struck down the state ban. It is also notable as the year Oregonians voted to legalize recreational marijuana. While same sex marriages commenced immediately after the court ruling in May 2014; the possession and the use of marijuana in Oregon will not be legal until July 1, 2015. It won't be until 2016 before marijuana can be sold legally in the state. In the meantime, Oregon looks to its neighbor to the north to see how this new law might affect the state. What other new laws await us in 2015?
In addition to the marijuana initiative taking effect in July 2015, the Oregon State Legislature passed two other drug related laws that will take effect January 1, 2015. One is HB 4094, a law that gives immunity from being cited for alcohol possession to persons under 21 when they request assistance for an alcohol-related medical emergency either for themselves or another person. The other new law is HB 4065. This law applies in cases of foreclosed residential properties that are auctioned. The seller must include language warning prospective buyers that the property may have been used in manufacturing methamphetamines.
If you are interested in browsing all of the bills from the Oregon State Legislature, including the ones that did not pass, you can view them online. The bills are listed in the Bills and Laws tab under the 2014 Regular Session. From the Oregon State Legislature website you can search for bills by Bill Number, Bill Text, or Bill Sponsor by clicking on the Bills icon in the upper right hand part of the screen. You can also review a flowchart illustration of how a bill becomes law. For a more animated version try Schoolhouse Rock's video, I’m Just a Bill.
At a city level, the Parks and Recreation department of the City of Portland has a new tree code beginning January 2, 2015. You can read all of the details for Portland Trees from Parks and Recreation but one of the major changes is that removal of trees will require a permit on all private properties regardless of where they are located.
As is always the case, librarians are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, including selecting or interpreting legal materials, but we will happily suggest research tools to help you find the information you desire.
Wishing you the best in a lawful new year!