When Oregon voters approved Measure 91, they made it clear that as long as an adult who was at least 21 years old was growing up to four marijuana plants, it would be perfectly legal. There were other provisions, namely that the marijuana plants couldn’t be grown in public view and that public access to grow sites needed to be restricted. I have personally walked around my neighborhood and have seen tops of marijuana plants peeking over the fence. Technically that’s a no-no, but I think that if people are still within their four plant limit, cops around where I live in Oregon aren’t enforcing anything.
But when you are over four plants, say, 236 plants over the 4 plant limit, AND your plants are in public view, cops in Oregon are likely going to come after you. That’s what happened to a 60 year old man in Beaverton, Oregon, who recently had his property searched after someone complained about seeing too many marijuana plants in plain view on his property. When the cops showed up, they found a total of 240 marijuana plants.
The cops charged the man, Tuyen Ngo, with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful manufacture of marijuana. The cops confiscated almost all of the marijuana plants on his property. Notice I said almost. The cops let the man keep four of his plants. Per Oregon Live:
Most of the plants, which ranged from seedlings to fully mature plants, were seized. Ngo was allowed to choose four to keep, as allowed under Oregon’s recreational marijuana law.
One of my Facebook friends summed up the situation perfectly when she said, ‘Oregon problems.’ Can you imagine how that conversation went? ‘Sir, we are going to have to charge you with two counts, and take these two U-hauls worth of cannabis plants. However, we will let you pick your favorite four to keep. Happy gardening sir.’
I don’t want to downplay the charges against the man, as I don’t feel that anyone should ever be charged with a crime because of marijuana, but I think this story highlights how progressive Oregon has become on marijuana policy. I’m hopeful that when this man’s case goes to trial, that jurors nullify the charges, which given the attitudes in the Portland metro area, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen. Good luck Mr. Ngo!