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Oregon decriminalizes possession of small amounts of drugs

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Drug use can affect a person in many ways, including addiction. Some believe that drug addicts are better served by seeking treatment in a rehabilitation facility, rather than being charged with a drug crime and sent to jail. In fact, a new law effective earlier in 2021 addresses the issue of drug possession in Oregon.

Oregon decriminalizes drug possession

Under Oregon law, police can no longer arrest those in Oregon who possess small amounts of certain drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine or LSD as well as other drugs. Instead, those who possess small amounts of certain drugs may be fined $100 or have to undergo a health assessment and possible addiction counseling. This is akin to a civil citation, not unlike a traffic ticket, rather than a criminal citation.

Proponents of Ballot Measure 110

The new law, referred to as Ballot Measure 110, was passed by a wide margin of Oregon voters in November 2020. Those who supported the decriminalization of drug possession in Oregon believe that laws criminalizing drug possession are ineffective, and penalties such as jail time and having a criminal record can negatively impact a person for the rest of their life. Instead, those in possession of drugs often are better served through addiction recovery centers. Under the new law, these centers will be funded by tax revenue generated by the state’s legalized marijuana industry.

Learn more about drug crimes in Oregon

While this law decriminalizes the possession of a small amount of drugs, other drug crimes such as drug trafficking or drug manufacturing are still illegal in Oregon. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in Portland who want further information on Oregon drug crimes may find our firm’s website to be a helpful resource.