Reform advocates in Oregon quietly filed a proposed initiative last month to decriminalize low-level possession of all drugs that could appear before voters on the state’s 2020 ballot.
The measure, titled the “Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act,” places an emphasis on the need to treat drug addiction as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice matter. Possession of small amounts of illegal substances, including heroin and cocaine, would be considered a class E violation, punishable by a maximum $100 fine and no jail time.
There would be an option to avoid the fine by completing a health assessment through an addiction recovery center. That process would involve a substance use disorder screening from a licensed health professional.
Manufacturing and distributing controlled substances would still cary heavy penalties, including felony charges.
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