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Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization: ‘We Made An Enormous Mistake’

via KGW News
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A coalition of Oregon leaders and business figures is pushing for the re-criminalization of hard drug possession and public drug use, following the perceived failure of a decriminalization measure passed in 2020.

They cite a significant increase in overdose deaths since the decriminalization, with support for re-criminalization growing among Oregonians.

The coalition’s proposal aims to maintain aspects of the previous measure while making possession and public use of hard drugs illegal again. (Trending: Obama Judge Issues Shock Ruling Against Democrats)

However, supporters of the decriminalization argue that re-criminalization would be harmful and ineffective.

The coalition is prepared to bring their proposal to voters if the legislature doesn’t act, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

“Oregonians still believe that the best strategy is a minimal use of criminal justice resources to encourage people into treatment and recovery,” former state representative Max Williams said.

“But they also realize the tools that we’ve currently given law enforcement… are not working. Oregon has turned into an international spectacle, and I think we looked at each other and realized that we made an enormous mistake,” Portland attorney and Democrat Kristin Olson said.

“It re-stigmatizes people who need help. People are less likely to get help when they are stigmatized,” said Tera Hurst.

“Nobody’s looked at Oregon and said, ‘Wow, this is a model of fabulous success,’” Williams added.

“If anything, a state like our friends to the north in Washington, I think, quickly moved to reinstate criminal sanctions associated with possession of these hard drugs because they did not want to follow the pattern that Oregon had followed.”

“There really are people that are dying as a result of this policy,” Williams said.

Holding off “just delays the crisis that we’re in that much longer.”

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