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Oregon Pols May Recriminalize Minor Drug Possession

Oregon lawmakers are discussing a proposal to recriminalize minor drug possession, a move that would gut the most controversial part of the state’s voter-approved drug law, The Oregonian reports. (article behind paywall).  Separately, Oregon House Republicans introduced a bill to end Measure 110 , the first-in-the-nation law that decriminalized small amounts of hard drugs while aiming to expand addiction treatment, KOIN reports. Republicans say their bill would end crises exacerbated by the drug decriminalization measure, including drug addiction, homelessness, and crime, while providing pathways to addiction treatment.


The GOP bill classifies possession of drugs including fentanyl, heroin, and meth as a Class A Misdemeanor and requires treatment to avoid jail time. The bill would increase penalties for possession of a controlled substance to a maximum of 364 days in jail and/or a $6,250 fine. The measurel would ban public drug use and would mandate evaluation and treatment as part of probation for some drug and property crimes. It would make possessing or selling a pill press a crime and would increase penalties for drug dealers who sell drugs that result in a death. “The citizens of Oregon understand the failures of Measure 110. We see the results on the streets, in the unacceptable overdose death rate, and in the catastrophic consequences to our communities, to public safety, and to livability,” said state Rep. Rick Lewis, a sponsor of the bill.

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