Oregon Governor Signs in New Laws

KITZ IMMIGRANT LAWSALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s governor has signed off on 66 pieces of legislation. This brings the total number of bills signed by the governor in the 2013 session to 787. One of the most-watched is House Bill 3460, which basically creates medical marijuana dispensaries.

Effective immediately, the law tasks the Oregon Health Authority with establishing a system for licensing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.

This will pave the way for marijuana to be transferred to and from cardholders, designated caregiver or marijuana grow sites to medical marijuana facilities. The governor says that this law does not protect the dispensaries, growers, caregivers, or patients from federal prosecution.

The governor has also signed legislation that limits suction dredge gold mining on Oregon’s rivers. Supporters say it will better protect salmon habitat. Since the practice was limited in California, there has been a 580% increase in permits in Oregon, up from 414 permits in 2005, to 2,409 suction dredge minors in the state last year.

Many are crossing over from California. Starting in 2014, there will only be 850 permits to suction dredge mine state-wide. Long-time Oregon miners will be given preference under the new limitations. A second part of the new law will be to develop new regulations that will have to be approved by the legislature in 2015 and if the legislature fails to act then, a 5-year moratorium on suction dredging in salmon habitat-will go into effect.