2015 ORS 475B.480¹
Affirmative defense

(1) Except as provided in ORS 475B.478 (Exceptions to exemption from criminal liability), a person has an affirmative defense to a criminal charge of possession, delivery or manufacture of marijuana, or any other criminal offense in which possession, delivery or manufacture of marijuana is an element, if the person charged with the offense:

(a) Was diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition within 12 months of the date on which the person was arrested and was advised by the person’s attending physician that the medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that debilitating medical condition;

(b) Is engaged in the medical use of marijuana; and

(c) Possesses, delivers or manufactures marijuana only in quantities permitted under ORS 475B.428 (Possession limits for mature marijuana plants).

(2) A person does not need to lawfully possess a registry identification card to assert the affirmative defense established in this section.

(3) A person engaged in the medical use of marijuana who claims that marijuana provides medically necessary benefits and who is charged with a crime pertaining to the use of marijuana is not precluded from presenting a defense of choice of evils, as set forth in ORS 161.200 (Choice of evils), or from presenting evidence supporting the necessity of marijuana for treatment of a specific disease or medical condition, provided that:

(a) The person possesses, delivers or manufactures marijuana only as permitted under ORS 475B.428 (Possession limits for mature marijuana plants) (1); and

(b) The person has taken a substantial step toward complying with the provisions of ORS 475B.400 (Findings) to 475B.525 (Authority to adopt rules for ORS 475B.400 to 475B.525).

(4) A defendant proposing to use the affirmative defense established in this section in a criminal action shall, not less than five days before the trial of the cause, file and serve upon the district attorney a written notice of the intention to assert the affirmative defense. The notice must specifically state the reasons why the defendant is entitled to assert the affirmative defense and the factual basis for the affirmative defense. If the defendant fails to file and serve the notice, the defendant is not permitted to assert the affirmative defense at the trial of the cause unless the court orders, for good cause, otherwise. [Formerly 475.319]


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 475B—Cannabis Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors475B.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.