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Oregon Reinstates Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession: Measure 110 Rolled Back

Oregon passes law recriminalising drug possession

In a significant shift in drug policy, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed House Bill 4002 into law, reimposing criminal penalties for the possession of drugs. This legislative move effectively overturns key aspects of Ballot Measure 110, which had previously decriminalized the possession of small quantities of drugs, including cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

Background of Ballot Measure 110

Oregon originally took a progressive stance on drug possession when voters passed Measure 110 in 2020. This measure sought to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hard drugs and focused instead on expanding access to treatment options for addiction. The move was seen as an attempt to treat drug addiction more as a health issue rather than a criminal one.

New Legislation Details

However, under the new legislation, which garnered broad support in the Oregon Legislature and was passed in February with wide margins, individuals found in possession of such drugs will face misdemeanor charges. This change is set to take effect starting September 1, 2024.

Increased Funding for Addiction Treatment

Despite the reinstatement of criminal charges, House Bill 4002 also expands funding for addiction treatment services. The government appears to be balancing the enforcement of drug laws with the need to provide support for those struggling with addiction.

Governor Kotek's Signing Ceremony

Governor Kotek formalized the bill during a signing ceremony, highlighting the state's reevaluated stance toward drug enforcement. With the enactment of this bill, Oregon sends a message that while treatment remains a priority, drug possession will not go unpunished.

This legislative reversal reflects the ongoing debate in the United States about how best to address the drug crisis, with some advocating for strict enforcement to deter drug usage and others pushing for more rehabilitative approaches to tackle addiction.

For those in Oregon, this means a renewed emphasis on the legal implications of drug possession, alongside improved resources meant to help those in need of treatment overcome their struggles with addiction. [1][2]


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