Oregon lawmakers vote to shield marijuana users' info from feds
SALEM -- Oregon state lawmakers who fear heightened marijuana enforcement by federal agents overwhelmingly approved Monday a proposal to protect pot users from having their identities or cannabis-buying habits from being divulged by the dispensary shops that make buying pre-rolled joints and "magic" brownies as easy as grabbing a bottle of whiskey from the liquor store.
The bipartisan proposal would protect pot consumers by abolishing a common business practice in this Pacific Northwest state where marijuana dispensaries often keep a digital paper trail of their recreational pot customers' names, birthdates, addresses and other personal information. The data is gleaned from their driver's licenses, passports or whatever other form of ID they present at the door to prove they're at least 21 as required by law.
The data is often collected without customers' consent or knowledge. It is stored away as proprietary information the businesses use mostly for marketing and customer service purposes, such as linking their driver's license number with every pot product they buy so dispensary employees are better able to help out during their next visit.
The measure that passed 53-5 now heads to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who is expected to sign it into law.