BEND, OR -- With recreational pot sales allowed starting today, comes increased concern by anti-drug advocates and some parents that minors will have easier access to marijuana. Hunter Neubauer, cannabis expert and owner of the Bend-based dispensary Oregrown, says there are simple steps users can follow to keep kids safe. "Keep it locked up; use some common sense. Ya know, the old liquor cabinet situation – normally, liquor cabinets haven’t been locked up and that’s just kind of been our society. I think with cannabis you’ll see a little bit different approach. I think people will maybe take a little more precaution, and I think a safe is a great way to completely get rid of that opportunity."
He admits parents are on the front lines of navigating the new landscape, but says making sure kids stay safe at the homes of friends and neighbors comes down to communication. "You really need to feel open and be approachable yourself, as much as you want the other person to be approachable to discuss that openly. And, not only have that conversation between parents, which is very, very important. It also comes down to parenting, though, too. You also need to educate your children. This is something now becoming part of your socio-economic culture."
Neubauer suggests similar conversations between cannabis users and non-smoking neighbors. While Measure 91 does not allow smoking marijuana in public, he admits some neighbors may still smell cannabis from a neighbor's house. Neubauer says users should talk to neighbors about potential conflicts before they arise. "There are a lot of people who are very excited about this becoming legal and feel proud and very protective of that. But, I think we also need to remember that we are neighbors and are part of a community. I think we just need to approach it correctly and politely and I think you need to have that conversation and discuss concerns that either party might have."
Limited quantities of Recreational pot can legally be purchased by those 21 and over with valid ID, from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. You're allowed to buy up to a quarter ounce of dried leaves or flowers, seeds and immature plants. Those under 21 can still purchase pot with a valid medical marijuana (OMMP) card.