Reefer Madness 2.0: The War on Cannabis Rages in Southern Oregon


Over the past three months, law enforcement raids of “illegal marijuana grows” in Southern Oregon have spiked. While I’m willing to give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt that the number illegal marijuana grows has increased over the past year, my review of several unrelated cases reveals some common flaws in law enforcement’s approach. And while the rhetoric regarding a “cartel takeover” is rampant among both local and state regulators, among the cases I am aware of, there is no evidence of cartel activity. Rather, my suspicion is that white law enforcement agents are seeing brown people working in fields planting hemp seedings and jumping to unwarranted (not to mention problematic) conclusions. Indeed, the leaps in logic and rush to judgment have led to law enforcement erroneously sweeping up entirely non-criminal and even completely legal hemp growers as well as a full-frontal attack on agriculture in general by county land use regulators. Here are the top five issues I’m seeing: 1. Hemp Is Legal. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp (or “industrial hemp”), which is defined generally as cannabis that has THC content of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis, is no longer a federally controlled substance. In Oregon, industrial hemp is specifically excluded from the definition of marijuana. Thus, any cannabis that has 0.3 percent or less THC content is not marijuana. There is no easy way to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana just by looking at it or smelling it – a specific laboratory test is required. However, various Southern Oregon law enforcement agencies appear to have refused to update their probable cause analysis to consider whether plants or leafy green substances they report seeing as suspected illegal marijuana trafficking may, in fact, just be individuals involved in the legal hemp market. What…

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Source : Reefer Madness 2.0: The War on Cannabis Rages in Southern Oregon

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