Oregon Lawmakers Move to Recriminalize Drugs After Massive Spike in Fentanyl Overdose Deaths

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A few years ago, Oregon decided to decriminalize drug use, perhaps in an attempt to further prove their progressive values. Things did not work out as planned.

In addition to a sharp rise in crime and homelessness, Portland and other areas in the state saw a dramatic rise in drug related deaths, many of them due to fentanyl use.

Now lawmakers are pushing to recriminalize drug use and even Democrats are supporting the effort.

The Oregon Capital Chronicle reports:

In first vote, committee passes controversial bill that would unwind Measure 110

Oregon lawmakers on the joint addiction committee on Tuesday evening voted for a proposal to backtrack on Measure 110 and reshape the state’s approach to the drug addiction and overdose crisis after months of planning and an intensive three weeks of debate and reworking the proposal.

The committee’s bipartisan 10-2 vote to send the bill to the House came after wrenching testimony in a series of hours-long meetings by family members who lost loved ones to fentanyl as well as opposition from civil rights advocates and public defense attorneys. To become law, the bill needs to pass the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Tina Kotek.

Democrats, who control the Legislature, say they have enough support for it to pass.

John Sexton of Hot Air adds this:

The real story here, which most of the news outlets writing about this completely skip over, is that the city of Portland has been a mess ever since 2020. That’s when police were defunded and crime began to go up sharply. And thanks to the passage of Measure 110 (also in 2020) drug use on the streets and homelessness have gotten worse as well.

Portland has been doing what it can to deal with these problems including passing a city ban on open drug use last September. But of course the city can’t ignore state law which says drug use is legal statewide. So the ban on drug use in Portland hasn’t taken effect and won’t until Measure 110 is overruled.

It’s sad that it took so many deaths to get to this point.

Of course, there is no guarantee that this reform will pass, but Oregon would be wise to do it. They clearly have a big problem.

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Source material can be found at this site.

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