(PartiallyPolitics.com) – Oregon Democrats have put forward a new bill that will be part of the upcoming legislative session in the state. Measure 110, which was originally passed in 2020 in a ballot referendum blocks criminal charges from being placed in the cases of small amounts of any drugs being found on a person. Instead of criminal charges, the people would instead face small fines which could end up being dismissed.
However, many voters have pushed back against this measure which is why the Democrats in the Legislature are going to be introducing a bill that would recriminalize the possession of drugs even in small amounts, and would classify it as a low-level misdemeanor.
These efforts would give the police the right to punish people for using drugs in parks and places. This new bill comes at a time when the state is dealing with an increase in the number of synthetic overdose deaths in the country. Oregon has the third-highest overdose death rate in the entire country according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The changes would also give law enforcement more ground to prosecute drug dealers and provide them with access to addiction treatment.
State Sen. Kate Lieber, who is leading the group that introduced the recriminalization bill, has argued that this is a compromise and that it is the best policy that they could currently introduce to ensure that their communities would continue to be safe. The bill’s specifics have not yet been finalized regarding the possession of drugs for “personal use.”
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