One of the biggest concerns for residents and politicians when it comes to the question of marijuana legalization is how it could potentially affect the children of the state in question. This week, Oregon dispensaries did their bit to set minds at ease when they passed their most recent compliance check. A report from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission stated that the state passed with flying colors. 100 percent of the state’s dispensaries complied with Oregon’s laws and regulations ensuring that all customer IDs were checked correctly and that no one under the age of 21 was able to buy marijuana.
A Covert Operation
The process for testing dispensaries is covert with minor volunteers going undercover to attempt to buy marijuana from the stores. Dispensaries must abide by state law and ensure that each person’s ID is checked correctly and no one under 21 is allowed to buy marijuana. “Commission inspectors supervise the minor volunteers,” the state officials wrote in a press release. “The volunteers carry their own legal ID that identifies them as under 21 and do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of marijuana. The Oregon Driver license for a minor carries a red border around the picture with the words ‘Minor Until’ followed by the date of his/her 21.”
An Improvement from January
There was no attempt made to trick dispensary workers with fake IDs. The inspection simply ensured that stores were compliant. While dispensaries passed at 100 percent in a test that was conducted last December, they failed an inspection that was done earlier this year in January. During that test, at least 12 percent of dispensaries failed to be compliant, selling marijuana to minors. The Commission was able to report that, whatever the issue was causing the failure, it appears to have been dealt with now.
The Importance of Preventing Sale to Minors
Ensuring that marijuana doesn’t fall into the hands of minors sets a good example for other states legalizing the plant. All reports so far indicate that in states where marijuana has been legalized, teen use has not gone up. It has generally remained the same or even dipped a little. Where many have suggested that marijuana acts as a gateway drug, this has also not proven to be the case. In the states where the plant has been legalized, opioid addiction and use has dropped dramatically and hospital related incidents relating to opioid overdose have drastically decreased. Users are stating that marijuana acts as a safe way to treat the addiction or a more effective way to treat the pain related to prescription opioids.
8 states have now legalized the plant for recreational use. California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts were the most recent states to legalize marijuana and the infrastructure for the industry is still being established in these states. Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, however, have had legal marijuana for sale since 2014. The way the industry runs in these states creates a template that other states can use to run a safe and effective industry. Oregon’s recent compliance is good news for the country at large.