CBS News is reporting today that Oregon is the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
The article reports:
The Oregon drug initiative will allow people arrested with small amounts of hard drugs to avoid going to trial, and possible jail time, by paying a $100 fine and attending an addiction recovery program. The treatment centers will be funded by revenues from legalized marijuana, which was approved in Oregon several years ago.
“Today’s victory is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which backed the measure.
…Voters in New Jersey and Arizona approved measures legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older. In New Jersey, the Legislature now will have to pass another measure setting up the new marijuana marketplace. The Arizona measure also allows people convicted of certain marijuana crimes to seek expungement of their records. The passage of the measure signaled a change of attitudes, after Arizona voters narrowly defeated a legal pot proposal in 2016.
South Dakota on Tuesday became the first state where voters authorized both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana via two separate initiatives in the same election. The legalization of recreational marijuana was approved by voters in Montana, and medical marijuana won approval in Mississippi.
I am not in favor of the legalization of marijuana. There are no guarantees that legal marijuana will be limited to those over 21–how many people under the age of 21 smoke cigarettes illegally? I am not convinced we understand the effect of marijuana on the brain of people under the age of 25. Legalizing marijuana does not improve our society–it simply reduces the productive impact of one sector of that society. Marijuana and other drugs have never been a positive force in any society.