Oregon votes to decriminalize possession of HEROIN and other drugs on streets in first for US – The Sun
OREGON became the first state in the nation to decriminalize small amounts of heroin and others street drugs on Tuesday.
Voters overwhelmingly supported Measure 110, with partial returns showing the winning margin being 62.5 percent to 37.5 percent, according to Oregon Live.
The move is a major step in the way America views its war on drugs.
The New York-based Drug Policy Alliance – a criminal justice reform group that backed Oregon’s successful marijuana legalization effort in 2014 – was strongly behind the movement.
Peter Zuckerman, campaign manager for Measure 110, told reporters: "Today is a huge day of celebration but the work is not over and we have a lot more work to do to win a better system for everybody."
Those supporting the measure hope that decriminalization would combat issues with the country's jails being filled with non-violent offenders, particularly Black people.
Supporters argued that those incarcerated would be better receiving treatment.
The Drug Policy Alliance spent more than $4 million on the decriminalization campaign – compared to the just $95,000 that was raised by opponents to the measure.
Other supporters included Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, and singer John Legend.
The measure has three main components.
Firstly, it reduces misdemeanor drug possession to a non-criminal violation – similar to a traffic offense.
Penalties for what are now felony drug possession cases, involving larger quantities, will also be reduced.
And lastly, millions in marijuana tax revenue will be given to Addiction Recovery Centers, which will help people get screen and directed to treatment.
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