However, by 1973, the tides had changed, and Oregon became the first state to decriminalize marijuana by reducing penalties for marijuana possession of less than one ounce to a simple violation that carried just a $100 fine, a far cry from the typical jail sentences of previous years.
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Over the next few years, several additional ballot measures attempted to expand on the 1998 law, including one initiative in 2012 that attempted recreational legalization, but all were defeated by voters.
In 2014, voters approved Measure 91 by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, which legalized the non-medicinal cultivation and use of marijuana by adults aged 21 or older, effective July 1, 2015.
Due to a lack of legal ways to purchase marijuana after July 1, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed an emergency order in 2015 that allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to sell products to recreational users starting on October 1, 2015, almost a year before retail shops were scheduled to open and thereby closing the legal loophole of recreational users that could grow and consume marijuana, but couldn't legally purchase it.