Home > It's A Legal Matter > Flying high

Flying high

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2015-07-16


I spent a few days in Oregon with my family this summer. We loved it. Snow-capped mountains, flowing rivers, rugged beaches, nice people and craft breweries are everywhere.

While entering security at Portland International Airport on our way home, I noticed a sign that reads:

Please be advised recreational marijuana is not permitted on flights traveling outside of Oregon.

The sign got me thinking. Is it legal under Oregon law for a person to possess recreational marijuana on a plane if the person is flying to another city inside Oregon? (Yes.) Can a person with marijuana fly legally to another state that permits recreation marijuana? (Maybe. Not sure.)

I took a photo of the sign and kept moving. Effective July 1 of this year, a person can legally possess up to eight ounces of marijuana or four plants inside her home in Oregon. Outside of the home, a person can possess up to one ounce.

No one under the age of twenty-one is allowed to use or possess recreational marijuana in Oregon or in any of the other marijuana states, such as Washington and Colorado. With the scientific data showing the harmful effects marijuana can have on a growing brain, I donít expect any state will allow anyone under twenty-one years of age to use or possess marijuana. Even a twenty-five year old manís brain isnít fully developed.

Oregon law prohibits the public consumption of marijuana. I didnít notice any public marijuana use in Oregon. My kids, however, did ask a couple of times where the skunk was while walking in downtown Portland.

Colorado realized tax and registration fee revenue from recreational marijuana in excess of $60 million in 2014. Much of those funds will go toward a school construction fund. Iím sure Oregon is hoping to tap into some of its own needed revenue from recreational marijuana.

I understand the debate associated with the legalization of recreational marijuana. Some are for it whereas others believe it is too dangerous. But letís go back to my Portland International Airport experience. Alcohol is still king. I thought Portland was a coffee town. Wrong. Portland is a craft beer town. Alcohol can be extremely harmful, but itís legal, regulated and acceptable Ė even on airplanes.

Like most airports, a traveler has numerous opportunities to grab a beer or a cocktail before boarding. No one gives that a second thought. The gift shops sell beer t-shirts, bottle openers and shot glasses. Once in flight, travelers can buy adult beverages. Yet many travelers donít drink at the airport or on the plane.

Someday most or even all states will legalize marijuana. Donít get too excited Indiana NORML members -- Indiana will take its time. We might even see marijuana smoke shops in airports one day.

Travelers will congregate and sample local bud from the region. Gift shops will sell pipes, bongs and key chains with catchy phrases written on them like, ďMile High ClubĒ or ďFlying High.Ē

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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