Oregon Decriminalizes Possession of Hard Drugs

Emma McCormick, Ad Editor

In addition to the spectacle around Election night this year, the state of Oregon has passed Measure 110. This will decriminalize possession of hard drugs in the state, in addition to marijuana already being decriminalized. The measure makes possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin a “class e” violation, rather than a misdemeanor or felony charge. The suspect will either have a one-hundred-dollar fine or completion of a health assessment will be required. The law will be in effect in February of 2021.

There is a possibility that Measure 110 will produce a snowball effect within drug addicts; they no longer have a legal consequence to fear and if treatment is refused, they could become a victim of a drug overdose. According to the OHA, “Oregon saw a nearly 70% increase in the number of overdose deaths during April and May 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.” (Modie, Jonathan “OHA Sees 70% Increase in Oregon Drug Overdose Deaths during April, May,” 1) There is also the possibility that this will lead people suffering from addiction to get help since they will not be put in jail and there will be a larger availability of treatment. The state is going to put more money towards rehabilitation facilities in hopes of lowering the amount of drug usage.