Oregon’s Vote to Decriminalize Hard Drugs Replaces Jail Time With Path to Rehabilitation
Oregon has become the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hard drugs, and many are praising their decision.
While the legalization of marijuana in several states received a lot of attention this Election Day, Oregon took it a step further and became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Upon reading the news it may seem like a bad idea, but this monumental decision could potentially save many lives.
Oregon didn’t just say “y’all are free to do whatever drugs,” they decriminalized it offering people $100 fine or free health consultation at a rehab center w/ the goal being to get people help instead of jailing them. It means the goal is changing your path not ruining your life— Mike Ziemer 🎅🏻🎄🎁 (@MikeZiemer) November 5, 2020
Oregon residents voted ‘yes’ to Measure 110, which would no longer require jail time for those in possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, but would instead either require a small fine or the choice to seek treatment at a drug rehabilitation center.
Oregon decriminalizing hard drugs is among the most exciting 2020 news. It’ll be exciting to see if they can create effective drug rehab programs and build a trend rather than be an outlier. We should all be happy to see this change, because the prison system is awful & expensive— Chewy 🇳🇬 (@TheyCallMeChew) November 4, 2020
Also included in the measure is the expansion of access to recovery treatments and housing, which would all be paid for with money from the state’s marijuana tax. This is a huge victory for Oregon, especially those struggling with addiction. More focus is put on helping addicts seek treatment and stay clean than locking them up for every drug offense, leaving them drug-addicted and filtering in and out of the prison system.
I see a lot of people on the TL saying Oregon is tweaking for decriminalizing all those drugs. Remember if you decriminalize the drugs people will go get help instead of going to jail for a possible addiction problem. Think on a broad basis on the role it will play.— Coin-yeen-so-la (@SholaChild) November 4, 2020
According to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, Measure 110 could help reduce drug possession convictions by as high as 90% and the racial disparity in the arrests of Black Oregonians, who are hit hardest by drug-related arrests, could fall from 276 each year to as low as 14. Although there was initially some criticism surrounding the measure, many are now beginning to see its benefits, and they’re hoping other states will soon follow suit.
People saying Oregon is giving free reign for drug use- pause…educate yourself. It’s moving the core of drug use from imprisonment to rehabilitation. If that pisses you off you’re probably the same people who think continued drug addiction is a choice— EDM Tina Belcher BLM (@priincessbelll) November 4, 2020
Oregon’s bold choice to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs has set a great example for the rest of the nation. Hopefully, the results in Oregon will push other state governments to view drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime and work towards bettering the lives of many who are struggling with it.