Oregon voters voted by a wide margin Tuesday to decriminalize all drug possession, making it the first U.S. state to do so.
The newly-passed Ballot Measure 110 calls for possession of small amounts of to be decriminalized and treated like a civil violation. Those caught would not be arrested, jailed or be subjected to a trial. They can either pay a $100us fine or complete a health assessment at a drug treatment centre.
I will allow for the manufacturing and controlled use of psilocybin after receiving approximately 56 percent yes votes with an estimated 1.9 million votes having been counted.
“Passage of Measure 110 is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use,” Kassandra Frederiquem, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said on Wednesday. “It shifts the focus where it belongs—on people and public health—and removes one of the most common justifications for law enforcement to harass, arrest, prosecute, incarcerate, and deport people. As we saw with the domino effect of marijuana legalization, we expect this victory to inspire other states to follow suit and enact their own decriminalization policies that prioritize health over punishment.”
Addiction recovery centres will be paid for by revenue from legalized marijuana sales.
The new law will take effect on February 1st 2021. Drug sales and manufacturing will still be illegal.
The measure was backed by the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon chapter of the American College of Physicians and the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians.
Opponents of the measure say it “recklessly decriminalizes possession of the most dangerous types of drugs (and) will lead to an increase in acceptability of dangerous drugs.”