On Tuesday, The Conservative Review posted an article detailing what has happened in Oregon as a result of decriminalizing the possession of hard drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine in 2020.
The article reports:
Oregon became the first state in the union to decriminalize possession of hard drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine in 2020. This radical experiment in lawlessness has been an unmitigated disaster.
While initially deaf to the concerns raised by Republicans, recovery specialists, and Christian groups concerning Ballot Measure 110, state Democrats are now poised to re-criminalize drug possession and bring their four-year experiment to an end. After all, the majority of Oregonians want the measure repealed.
…The so-called “Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act” eliminated criminal penalties for possession of various quantities of hard drugs. As a result, junkies can now carry one gram of heroin; 2 grams of cocaine; 2 grams of meth; less than 40 user units of methadone; 1 gram or 5 pills of MDMA; less than 40 user units of LSD; and fewer than 40 pills of oxycodone.
Possession of such quantities amounts to a non-criminal Class E violation, which at most can result in a $100 fine or a recommendation for a health assessment with an addiction treatment professional.
Those caught with even more of these once-controlled substances have also seen penalties softened, such that they now face a misdemeanor charge with less than a year in jail, a fine, or both.
Extra to decriminalizing hard drugs, the measure mandated the establishment or funding of recovery centers throughout the state funded by taxes on marijuana.
The article lists the results of the law:
According to Oregon Health Authority data, fatal overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, there were 824 fatal overdoses. The year M110 went into effect, there were 1,189 fatal overdoses. Preliminary data indicates the number of deaths from overdoses in 2022 was north of 1,100.
Fentanyl is proving especially lethal. OregonLive.com noted that in the year ending September 2019, there were 77 known fentanyl deaths. In the year ending September 2023, there were reportedly 1,268 overdose deaths.
There appears to be a correlation between fatal overdoses and M110.
Please follow the link for further details and possible solutions. This really should not be a Republican/Democrat or Liberal/Conservative issue. I believe all of us want to protect our children and young adults from the dangers of hard drugs. Hopefully Oregon will pass a law that moves the state in that direction.