Man causes stir by smoking pot in Portland courtroom | OregonLive.com
By Aimee Green
A 30-something man apparently thought he was doing nothing wrong when he lit up a joint in a Portland courtroom last month.
Marijuana is legal in Oregon, right?
That’s what the unidentified man told two deputies, who immediately confronted him in the back row of the third floor courtroom of Multnomah County Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht. He had come in to watch a hearing into the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy at a Northeast Portland park.
Courthouse Deputy Chris Payne said he walked through a plume of smoke to get to the man and told him he needed to leave the courtroom. The man stepped into the hall.
“I said, ‘Sir, you need to leave the courthouse now,’” Payne recounted to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “He said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘You can’t smoke marijuana in public.’ And he said, ‘Oh, you can’t?’”
Payne said the man seemed genuinely surprised. He also showed "signs of being high,” the deputy said.
Word of the July 21 encounter has reverberated through the courthouse community and astonished a broad cross-section of seen-it-all lawyers, judges, deputies and court staff.
Understand, this is a seasoned bunch. The 106-year-old courthouse regularly handles 800 to 1,000 daily visitors from all walks of life. In recent years, a man socked a handcuffed killer in the face in front of the judge and deputies. A registered sex offender wearing baggy pants exposed himself to women on one of the courthouse's floors. Late last month, two people were caught doing drugs and having sex in a seventh-floor restroom.