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1st state to decriminalize possession of hard drugs

Oregon police can not arrest somebody for having small quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone or different robust drugs, due to a referendum whose consequence went into impact Monday.

As an alternative, these arrested for having these drugs could have to pay a high-quality of up to $ 100 or endure a medical examination to see in the event that they want dependancy therapy. Supporters of the decriminalization of robust drugs, which was accepted by a big majority within the in style session in November, contemplate it a revolutionary milestone in the US.

“Immediately the primary domino of our merciless and inhumane struggle on drugs has fallen, and we hope that it will lead to different measures that prioritize well being over criminalization,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, government director of the Drug Coverage Alliance, the group that promoted The initiative.

Supporters of decriminalization insist that to fight drugs, an important factor is to provide therapy to addicts relatively than placing them in jail, particularly since even when they’re launched from jail, defendants are left with a legal file that makes it troublesome for them to discover employment or residing place.

Greater than a rating of district attorneys opposed the measure, calling it irresponsible and conducive to the social acceptance of harmful drugs.

Any longer, these discovered with drugs for private use will obtain a civil quotation “like a visitors ticket” and never a legal quotation, defined Matt Sutton, a spokesman for the Drug Coverage Alliance.

Beneath the brand new system, drug rehabilitation facilities could have the duty to “analyze the wants of individuals who use drugs, and to assess and handle any ongoing wants via intensive case administration and connection to care and companies.” .

The rehab facilities might be funded by taxes paid in Oregon by the authorized marijuana trade. This suggests that different applications and entities which might be financed in the identical means, similar to faculties, will obtain much less cash.

The referendum positioned a $ 45 million annual cap on the quantity of authorized marijuana tax cash that might be acquired by faculties, psychiatric care facilities for alcoholics and drug addicts, state police and cities and counties. The rest have to be allotted to a fund for drug dependancy restoration companies.

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Donna Miller

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