SALEM, Ore. (AP) – For the first time nationwide, Oregon has denied criminal charges against drug users, with voters through a voting measure that determines the possession of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other hard drugs.
“Today’s victory is a landmark statement that it’s time to stop criminalizing users,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Coalition, the organization behind the measure. drug use. “Prop 110 is said to be the strongest blow to the war on drugs to date.”
This action completely changed the way Oregon̵7;s justice system treats people found to be used for private purposes of drugs.
Instead of going to court and facing a probable prison sentence, one will have the option of paying a $ 100 fine or joining new “addiction rehabilitation centers” funded by millions of dollars in tax revenue. is from Oregon’s regulated, regulated cannabis industry.
The passage of this measure made Oregon, in 1973, the first state to nullify possession of cannabis, a pioneer in the United States to try similarly to potent drugs. The action takes effect 30 days after Tuesday’s election, but penalty changes won’t go into effect until Feb. 1. Addiction recovery centers must operate by 1 month. ten.
It sounds like a radical concept, but advocates of the initiative say eliminating drug-using crimes – locking them up and the burden of criminal records makes it difficult to find housing and jobs. do – was ineffective.
One in 11 Oregonians is addicted to drugs and nearly two die every day from an overdose in the state, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon Medical College, and the Oregon Institute of Family Physicians report support this measure.
They wrote: “We urgently need a change to save families and save lives.
According to estimates by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, about 3,700 Oregonians each year will be convicted of a felony or misdemeanor of possession of controlled substances when the measure is passed.
The commission, an official state agency, said the measure could also lead to a significant reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in both convictions and arrests.
While this approach is new in the United States, a number of countries, including Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland, have eliminated the possession of small amounts of hard narcotics, according to the United Nations.
The de-nominalization of Portugal in 2000 did not increase drug use. Portuguese officials say the number of drug-related deaths decreased while the number of people receiving treatment for drug addiction in the country increased 20% from 2001 to 2008 and then stabilized.
“This is a huge step forward in moving to a health-based approach instead of criminal punishment and we are devoting significant new resources to helping Oregonians who need it,” said Janie Gullickson, co-lead. Prop 110 petition said.
The bill has 59% of the nearly 2 million votes counted so far passed, according to the foreign secretary’s office.
Twenty county attorneys say the measure is reckless and will lead to increased acceptability of dangerous drugs. Two other county attorneys, including an attorney in Oregon’s most populous county and including Portland, support the measure, as well as an elected attorney in the county.
This measure does not apply retroactively to past convictions. But the Drug Policy Coalition said it would support any attempt through the Legislature to remove those criminal records, citing a bill passed last year that would allow the crimes to be bypassed. list of cannabis.
“We and our coalition partners will work to ensure that records are deleted in the future,” said Theshia Naidoo, executive director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Oregon voters on Tuesday also legalized the use of psilocybin fungus for healing, with a two-year development period. Veterans with PTSD, terminally ill and others with anxiety have voiced their support.
This action requires the Oregon Health Authority to authorize the production and possession of licensed, regulated, and exclusive psilocybin for the administration of licensed consumer coordinators.
Before Tuesday’s elections, Oregon was among the 11 states as well as Washington, DC, that legalized marijuana.
Several other states are following suit. Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all passed Tuesday’s voting measures legalizing adult marijuana.
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