Oregon Is The First State To Do So
On February 1, Oregon’s state law that decriminalizes possession and personal use of all drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine went into effect. The initiative, Measure 110, was approved back in November with 55.8% of the vote. The first-of-its-kind legislation will offer addicts rehabilitation treatment instead of arresting and sending them to jail. Those caught in possession will be fined $100 but once they agree to a health assessment, the citation will be dropped.
Drug Policy Alliance executive director Kassandra Frederique said in a statement, “Today, the first domino of our cruel and inhumane war on drugs has fallen — setting off what we expect to be a cascade of other efforts centering health over criminalization. For the first time in at least half a century, one place in the United States — Oregon — will show us that we can give people help without punishing them. This law is meant to protect people against persecution, harassment and criminalization at the hands of the state for using drugs and instead given access to the supports they need.”
She also added, “If we want people to make different choices, we have to give them more options.”
Possession of larger amounts, however, could lead to a misdemeanor charge.