As of Monday, possessing small quantities of cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, MDMA, psilocybin, methadone, or oxycodone is no longer punishable by prison time and thousands of dollars in fines in Oregon.
A Monday KDRV-TV of Medford, Oregon, article explains that the change in law, brought about by voters approving state Measure 110 in November, means that Oregon “is now the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize simple possession of virtually all drugs.” Criminalization of a wide variety of drugs came into effect throughout America during the twentieth century.
In November, Jacob Sullum discussed in a Reason article the legal changes that the ballot measure would bring about. Sullum wrote in part:
While marijuana is already legal in Oregon, Measure 110 eliminates criminal penalties for low-level possession of drugs that Oregon continues to ban, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin. The initiative, dubbed the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, reclassifies personal possession of controlled substances, currently a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $6,250, as a Class E violation punishable by a $100 fine. The initiative’s supporters estimate that it will reduce drug possession arrests by more than 90 percent.
Drug users can avoid fines by completing a “health assessment” at an “addiction recovery center.” The initiative says the assessment should “prioritize the self-identified needs of the client” and refer him to appropriate services. Under Measure 110, the state will use marijuana tax revenue and savings on correctional costs to pay for expanded drug treatment.
Read Sullum’s complete article here.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.