The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

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December 9, 2012

Washington could become pot source for neighbors

(Continued)

PORTLAND, Ore. —

Still, obtaining pot in Oregon is not without its hassles, in the eyes of some who use it.

Federal drug agents have been cracking down on some medical marijuana pot growers, alleging they shipped pot out of state. There has also been pressure on dispensaries that have sprung up in Oregon that provide medical marijuana for a fee to cover costs of operation.. Law officials in some counties have raided such operations, saying they are selling pot for profit.

If Washington state sets up a pot supply system, it is likely some Oregon holders of medical marijuana cards will go north for their medicine, advocates say.

In Canada, another Washington neighbor, pot is illegal under federal law. Border enforcement of drug laws is stringent, but enforcement for possession for personal use is relaxed. Grass is smoked openly in parks and at pot cafes in British Columbia. Distribution of medical marijuana to patients with needs deemed legitimate through pot dispensaries is also allowed

A spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Sgt. Duncan Pound, said it is too early to predict what effects legalization in Washington will have.

A marijuana advocate in British Columbia, Jodie Emery, worries Canada might intensify border controls because of Washington's weed legalization.

Emery also speculates that legalization in Washington could lessen the flow of people traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia to try some "BC Bud."

"British Columbia does have a lot of tourism for people who want to experience the marijuana culture but that is shifting," Emery said.

Back in Oregon, the tip sheet to marijuana users issued by Portland police states that possession of less than an ounce has been a "low law enforcement priority for 35 years in Portland and this will not change due to the new Washington law."

But the advisory also has this caution: If you go to Washington to "buy some weed," the "Portland Police Bureau cannot predict or control the enforcement activities of federal authorities."

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