Drug and Controlled Substance Allegations

Bend, OR Drug & Controlled Substance Allegations Attorney

If you have been accused of any drug offense, you need to hire an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney immediately. What if that attorney was also an expert and consultant regarding cannabis production and distribution? What if that attorney was also very knowledgeable about illegal drug distribution generally? What if that attorney's main reason for becoming a lawyer was to resist the unconstitutional "war on drugs" and all of the negative consequences of this corrupt and morally bankrupt policy? Hughes Law will fight and challenge all aspect of your drug charges.

Many drug laws are on the books in Oregon, but the allegations typically fall into one of three different offenses, regardless of the alleged drugs involved:

Possession: Possession is the offense of having physically possession or control over an illegal drug. If you have drugs in your home, on your person, in your car, or are caught using drugs, then you can be charged with possession.

Manufacturing: If you produce, prepare, propagate, convert, process, or compound drugs, then this is considered manufacturing. Also, people who are accused of packaging drugs, relabeling containers, or extracting oils, can be charged with this offense. Most often, manufacturing charges in Oregon have to do with marijuana or methamphetamines.

Delivery: If the authorities believe that you have attempted to transfer a controlled substance to another person or attempted to sell an illegal narcotic, then this constitutes a delivery charge.

Examples of drugs that are commonly the subject of charges in Oregon include:

  • Heroin (always results in a felony charge)
  • Marijuana (see below)
  • MDMA/Ecstasy (always a felony charge)
  • Cocaine (always a felony charge)
  • Methamphetamine (always a felony charge)

Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act and Program

Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), Or. Rev. Stat. § 475.300 (2007) protects qualifying "patients" from prosecution for possession, use, or cultivation of marijuana under state law. Under OMMA, state-level criminal penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana for "patients" who possess a signed recommendation from a physician stating that marijuana "may mitigate" their debilitating symptoms.

Under OMMA, the following conditions or illnesses are afforded legal protection:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity
  • Nausea
  • Agitation due to Alzheimer's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Other conditions if approved by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources

OMMA established a confidential patient registry run by the Oregon Health Authority that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. It also allows a patient to designate a "caregiver" to aid in their use of medical marijuana. A registered patient or caregiver pay possess up to 6 mature plants, 18 immature plants (under 12 inches), and 24 ounces of useable marijuana. OMMA also establishes a "grow site" registration, and the law allows for patients to have others grow for them. Patients, caregivers, and persons responsible for the grow site, however, can only grow marijuana in one location.

"Affirmative defenses" are available under Oregon law. Even without a "card," a person who had been diagnosed by his or her physician with a qualifying condition at least 12 months prior to arrest could argue medical-marijuana patient status as an affirmative defense to criminal charges. Those state-qualified patients who possess cannabis in amounts exceeding the limits, however, do not retain the ability to argue an "affirmative defense" of medical necessity at trial.

Recent Appeals Ruling
The Oregon Court of Appeals has recently ruled, and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program has confirmed, that patients from out of state are permitted to register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to obtain a registry identification card that will protect them from arrest or prosecution while in Oregon. Out-of-state patients are required to obtain a recommendation for the medical use of marijuana from an Oregon licensed physician. State v. Berringer, 229 P3d 615 (2010).

In 2013, H.B. 3460 was signed into law, which establishes a system of medical marijuana facilities under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to provide patients, growers, and medical marijuana facilities with legitimate access to medical cannabis. The Oregon Health Authority promulgated rules and started taking applications for dispensaries in March 2014. The new regulations impose strict rules on the medical marijuana facilities regarding security, video surveillance, testing, packaging, transfers, and record keeping. The Hughes Companies offer complete cannabis business consulting.

Bend Drug Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for possession, manufacturing, or delivery of an illegal substance, you should call Hughes Law immediately. Whether this involves a medical cannabis defense or an unconstitutional search or seizure, your case will benefit from the passion, instinct, and experience of Michael R. Hughes.

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