Oregon becomes the first USA state to decriminalize the personal possession of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone.
Just a s a reminder.. this is what Ballot Measure 110 outlines..
The measure reclassifies possession of small amounts of drugs as a civil violation. Offenders will face a $100 fine, which can be avoided by agreeing to participate in a health assessment. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimated that yearly convictions for possession of a controlled substance would decrease by 3,679, or 90.7%.
Measure 110 also funds addiction treatment and harm-reduction efforts by relocating tens of millions of dollars from the state’s cannabis tax. Funds also are expected to come from state savings from reductions in arrests, incarceration and official supervision.
How much is a ‘small’ amount?
The measure makes possession of the following a noncriminal violation:
- Less than 1 gram of heroin.
- Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA.
- Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine.
- Less than 40 units of LSD.
- Less than 12 grams of psilocybin.
- Less than 40 units of methadone.
- Less than 40 pills of oxycodone.
- Less than 2 grams of cocaine.
The measure also reduces from a felony to a misdemeanor simple possession of substances containing:
- 1 to 3 grams of heroin.
- 1 to 4 grams of MDMA.
- 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine.
- 2 to 8 grams of cocaine.
Will law enforcement arrest people with small amounts of hard drugs?
If it’s under the Measure 110 amounts for possession, then no.
“Possession of small amounts of drugs will result in a citation, E violation, where it previously could have resulted in an arrest and the possibility of time in jail,” Fox said.
What does OSP think is important for people to understand about M110?
Just because small amounts are decriminalized, it doesn’t apply when a person has more than is specified under the law.
“Possession of larger amounts of drugs, manufacturing and distribution are still crimes,” Fox said.
Will this change how police behave?
There are some nuances to the measure that will affect the way officers conduct themselves on a scene, said Chris Parosa, senior prosecutor for the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.
“For example when officers walk up (to a car) and immediately notice … a pipe commonly used to smoke some illicit drug from it, ordinarily, if a police officer saw that, they would immediately develop probable cause for a potential felony,” Parosa said. “Now, if they were to walk up and find a pipe, which we can only assume has a residue quantity of drugs in it, it’s no more than a violation.”
This prevents law enforcement from then searching vehicles because they can’t develop reasonable suspicion, which is the grounds that allows them to ultimately continue to search for evidence of a crime, Parosa said.
What’s Oregon Health Authority’s role in implementing the legislation?
The Oregon Health Authority is required to establish:
- A Treatment and Recovery Services fund, financed with marijuana revenue, which will support new Addiction Recovery Centers and Community Access to Care grants.
- 15 Addiction Recovery Centers, or ARCs, that are always open throughout the state by Oct. 1.
- A grants program that will support the ARCs.
- An Oversight and Accountability Council that will oversee the distribution of the grants. The council is now taking applications for people who wish to serve.
- A temporary 24/7 ARC telephone line by Feb. 1.