Oregon measure to decriminalize hard drugs goes into effect

on Feb1
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Oregon’s controversial Measure 110 went into effect Monday, decriminalizing possession of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone, according to reports. 

The measure reclassifies possession of small amounts of hard drugs as a civil violation: Offenders will face a $100 fine, which they can avoid with a “health assessment” – a 24/7 phone service that will help determine what services an individual might need.  

Small amounts include less than 1 gram of heroin or MDMA; 2 grams of cocaine or methamphetamine; 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms; and 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone.

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“People suffering from addiction are more effectively treated with health care services than with criminal punishments,” the bill reads. “A health care approach includes a health assessment to figure out the needs of people who are suffering from addiction, and it includes connecting them to the services they need.”

Oregon will also fund addiction treatment and harm-reduction efforts by reallocating millions of dollars from the state’s cannabis tax.

Moderate amounts of those same drugs also saw classification reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor simple possession, according to the Register-Guard.

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Voters passed the measure in November with strong support from more than 100 organizations, including the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon School Psychologists’ Association, Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, the ACLU and others.

“It takes a lot of courage to try something new, and I’m really proud of our state,” said Haven Wheelock, a harm reduction specialist who filed the measure, according to OPB. “I’m excited to be a model for other places to show that we don’t have to harm people for being sick.”

Opponents to the measure argued that Oregon was ill-equipped to handle such a radical new approach to drug use and addiction.

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“I am hopeful with this new effort that it will be successful to address addiction, but I think everyone can agree its an experiment,” said Kevin Barton, the district attorney for Washington County.

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report. 



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