Written for the Chicago Tribune.
Living marijuana plants went on display Friday at the Oregon State Fair, with organizers saying it’s the first state fair in the nation to allow cannabis for public viewing.
The state voted to legalize recreational marijuana in late 2014. Here are a few things to know about legal pot in Oregon and the display at the fair:
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
The Oregon State Fair allowed a display about marijuana — but without any living plants — last year at the fair and it generated no complaints, so this year the organization took the next step and agreed to let marijuana growers display live plants on fair grounds.
WILL FAIRGOERS GET HIGH?
No. While the tent holding the display smells strongly of weed, fair authorities are only allowing immature plants — that is, pot plants without flowers.
Marijuana leaves are much less potent then the flowers, or buds, and it’s not yet legal to transport flowering plants within the state anyway.
Donald Morse, director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, said his group hopes to get permission to display flowering pot plants next year, but the details aren’t finalized.
Anyone entering must present identification proving they are age 21 and over.