Oregon became the first American state to decriminalize personal possession of small amounts of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and meth with its legislature voting 59-41 in favor of the “Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act.”
The Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday morning that possessing a small amount of the said drugs would be classified as a civil offense rather than criminal — only similar to a traffic violation in a move to turn its drug policy to a “humane, cost-effective, health approach.”
“People suffering from addiction are more effectively treated with health care services than with criminal punishments,” the measure stated. “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.”
The new law would only small amounts of these drugs cover, however: less than a gram of heroin or MDMA; 2 grams of cocaine or methamphetamine; 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms; and 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone.
Funding for drug addiction disorders
The decriminalization provision would take effect on February 1 and would put the penalty for the violation at US$100 fine which can be avoided for agreeing to be evaluated at Addiction Recovery Centers.
Selling and manufacturing drugs, however, will remain illegal in the state.
Meanwhile, the measure would also fund health assessments, addiction treatment, harm-reduction efforts and other similar services for people with addiction disorders to be funded by the state’s cannabis tax.
Aside from Oregon, some states across the US have been making big strides in efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana and other drugs.
New Jersey and Arizona are reportedly on-track to pass proposals measures legalizing recreational marijuana.
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Source: The Scoop