pete simpson

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Oregon: Portland Police Say Bringing Marijuana From Washington Isn't An Issue

NewVansterdamVancouverWA(logo)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Portland police on Wednesday said that Oregonians who travel to Washington state to buy marijuana to bring it back are "not an issue" as long as they stay within legal limits.

Beginning on July 1, Oregonians 21 and older are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana away from home, and up to eight ounces at home, under the recreational cannabis legalization law approved by voters last November.

Oregonians going to Washington to shop for marijuana are nothing new, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian. Sales data released by the Washington Liquor Control Board for May showed that one recreational 502 shop in Vancouver -- just across the state line -- sold more marijuana than any other shop in the state, thanks in part to Oregonians, who account for about half of sales.

But Portland police said they don't see this as a problem.

"We are not doing interdiction on people who are going there to buy their weed and bringing it back," Sgt. Pete Simpson said. "Our drugs and vice division has not and does not focus on low level drug transfers of any kind. They are working large scale operations, which is not what we are talking about."

Oregon: Court Rules Portland Police Pulling U.S. Mail For Dog Sniff Test Is Unlawful

MaxBarnthouse[TheOregonian]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Portland police and a U.S. postal inspector had no legal authority to intercept a package headed to a Portland home just because they suspected it contained contraband and a police dog later alerted to it, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday.

The ruling will likely put an end to the long-standing practice of having a postal inspector and two cops pull aside and examine express mail packages at Portland International Airport's postal cargo center without obtaining search warrants, reports Aimee Green at The Oregonian.

It's the first time an Oregon appeals court has ruled on this issue, according to Stephen Houze, the Portland defense attorney representing defendant Max Barnthouse. Barnthouse, then 26, was arrested in April 2012 after cops pulled a package from mail that had been headed to his home.

The cops claimed because the package was addressed to a pseudonym, had a handwritten rather than a typed address, had an incorrect zip code, and the postage was paid with cash or debit card rather than from an established business account, that was enough for them to remove Barnthouse's package from the mail about 6 a.m. at set it aside for narcotics detection dog Nikko to sniff. The dog signaled on the package.

Police and the postal inspector pull 30 or 40 packages a day for the sniff test, according to the appeals court summary. The dog is right about nine out of 10 times, one officer testified.

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