Oregon state legislators are taking steps to protect marijuana consumers in the state from federal agents. A bill was recently proposed that would require cannabis businesses, which are legal in Oregon, to destroy customer names, addresses, birth dates, and other personal information within 48 hours of a sale.
The bill was proposed by a committee that focuses on Oregon’s weed laws, ABC reports, and it has bipartisan support. It’s a direct response to the White House threat of stronger federal marijuana enforcement.
The need for the bill is clear. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer first suggested a crackdown in late February, and then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the Justice Department is reconsidering the precedent set by President Barack Obama to give states leeway when it comes to cannabis. If the Oregon legislation is passed, it would be harder for federal authorities to target marijuana users.
“I could see where the federal government would come in and try to gather this information from businesses that have stockpiled it and retained it in their records,” Democratic state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a sponsor of the bill, told ABC. “I think we as legislators have a duty to protect our citizens.”
Personal information isn’t collected by Oregon dispensaries for malicious reasons. The information is simply used like how Netflix uses your viewing log, or how Google uses your search history: for marketing. Dispensaries can give promos on birthdays, and speed up the process for frequent customers who simply want a repeat order. But if the information got in the wrong hands, there could be severe consequences.
Of course, no matter what the the Trump administration threatens, the cost of the federal government targeting individual buyers would be unreasonably high and likely won’t happen. Being unsure of what will happen when you legally purchase weed is hard enough, though.
Thankfully Oregon is making moves for privacy. That’s something we can all stand behind.