Oregon Decriminalizes Drug Possession



On November 3rd, Oregon voters passed a ballot measure to decriminalize drug possession for personal use.  Possession of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other so-called hard drugs will no longer be prosecuted.  The approach will be to offer help instead of punishment.

It is another step towards ending the “war on drugs” that began almost fifty years ago and led to astounding racial injustice and pointless incarceration of millions.

The measure completely changes the way Oregon's criminal justice system handles cases in which someone possesses a personal-use quantity of these drugs.  Instead of facing jail time, people will have the option of paying a $100 fine or, attending a new addiction recovery center that will be funded by Oregon's marijuana industry.

Making criminals out of drug users, putting them in jail and saddling them with criminal records that make it almost impossible to find housing or employment, is not the solution.

About 3,700 fewer Oregonians annually will be convicted of felony or misdemeanor possession of controlled substances, according to estimates by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

The Drug Police Alliance, a major funder of the Oregon campaign, is considering options for bringing a similar measure to decriminalize drugs in California, or potential legislation. (read more here)

Our lawyers will be following updates on this topic very closely.  In the meantime, if you are facing drug charges, of any kind, contact our office for a free consultation.

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