This liberal state’s reversal could spell the end of drug culture

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There has been an explosion of illegal drug use in America, and many liberal states have egged it along by legalizing everything.

But as citizens are seeing people using hard drugs on the streets and all the problems associated with it, even liberals realize the new laws have gone too far.

This very liberal state just reversed course, and it could spell the end of the spreading drug culture.

Oregon reverses course on the legalization of drug possession

The state of Oregon once decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs, which was the first “experiment” of its kind in the nation.

However, Democrat Governor Tina Kotek just signed a bill into law that would recriminalize that very thing, citing implementation issues as the reason.

The new law is a reversal of a 2020 voter-approved measure that now makes “personal use possession” a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

It will also establish treatment methods as an alternative to criminal penalties by encouraging law enforcement officials and agencies to create “deflection programs” that would move people to addiction and/or mental health services rather than having them enter the criminal justice system.

Kotek said the law’s success will hinge largely on “deep coordination” between the courts, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and mental health care providers.

In a signed letter, Kotek said these entities are “necessary partners to achieve the vision for this legislation.”

The original law, Measure 110, was approved by voters with 58% support in 2020, which made the personal use possession of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine punishable by a mere ticket and a maximum fine of $100.

At the time, supporters said treatment was more effective than jail time since it can help people overcome addiction, and they argued that arresting people for using drugs has not worked in the past.

That law funneled millions of dollars of Oregon’s cannabis tax revenue to addiction services, but the process took a long time, and many health officials were already dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

State auditors found that healthcare workers and facilities had difficulty developing the new treatment system as fentanyl use started to spike alongside the pandemic at the same time.

Lawmakers have changed their stance

The growing pressure to come up with a viable system convinced Oregon Democrats to change their stance on the state’s decriminalization policy.

Those who supported the first bill voted for the new law during the state’s short legislative session, but some still opposed it, saying it would result in more arrests and create more social inequities.

The bill passed last month, and changes will take effect September 1.

Many GOP leaders have worked to overhaul Measure 110 — House Minority Leader Jeff Helfrich said it shows how Republicans “stood united and forced Democrats” to return to issuing criminal penalties for drug possession in the state.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.