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Oregon bill decriminalizes possession of Drugs

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posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 06:58 PM
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I just want to say, go Oregon.


First-time offenders caught with small amounts of heroin, coc aine, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs will face less jail time and smaller fines under a new bill approved by the Oregon legislature that aims to curb mass incarceration.

The Oregon legislature passed a bill late last week that reclassifies possession of several drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor, reducing the punishments and expanding access to drug treatment for people without prior felonies or convictions for drug possession. Oregon lawmakers hope to encourage drug users to seek help rather than filling up the state’s prisons as an epidemic of abuse spreads.



“While we still have much work ahead, HB 2355 represents an important step towards creating a more equitable justice system to better serve all Oregonians,” Brown said in an emailed statement. “Addressing disparities that too often fall along racial and socioeconomic lines should not be political issues. Here in Oregon, we’re demonstrating that we can make meaningful progress to improve the lives of Oregonians by working together around our shared values.”

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It's nice to see some politicians who actually understand the failure that is the war on drugs and are helping to change things for the better. I had always thought it would be years before anyone in government, state or federal, would work towards decriminalizing hard drug use. But if anywhere can do it, it's Oregon.

I lived in Portland, Oregon for about 3 months 2 years ago, and I saw something one night that made me understand how different the police were there than where I was from in the south.

I was standing outside on Burnside, smoking a cigarette, and I hear this wailing coming up the street, mixed with some kind of gibberish being yelled. About three blocks down, a guy rounds the corner, obviously going sideways on some kind of bad psychedelic trip. As he screeches up the block, there's about three cops walking behind him, making sure he doesn't hurt himself or anyone else.

They just smile and laugh at me as they walk by, and near the end of the block, the guy calms down enough to talk to them. And that's it.

The crazy thing about this story is what didn't happen. Usually, at least where I'm from, 3 or 4 cops would have piled on top of him the moment he didn't answer their questions and tried to walk away, obviously under the influence. But the cops were actually patient, and understood they were dealing with someone on a bad psychedelic trip. And more importantly knew how to deal with the person.

With education comes understanding, and that understanding dispels the fear and uncertainty that causes a lot of these encounters with police to go bad. Here's to Oregon, hopefully setting the marks for the rest of the country to follow.


edit on 11-7-2017 by underwerks because: (no reason given)


ATTEMPT TO CORRECT LINK
www.washingtonpost.com... aine-meth-possession-hopi ng-to-curb-mass-incarceration/?utm_term=.0ca27e04f086
edit on Thu Jul 13 2017 by DontTreadOnMe because: attempt to fix link




posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

Yeah that law is not going to work. Federal drug control laws will preempt the state law for these drugs.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:03 PM
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originally posted by: Xcathdra
a reply to: underwerks

Yeah that law is not going to work. Federal drug control laws will preempt the state law for these drugs.

Let's hope not.




posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:15 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

We need more of this so very badly. The War on Drugs is a freaking joke, and has been for decades. But the government will not allow it to be stopped, because it employs to many people, and keeps the cost high so they can get massive amounts of cash for their "black projects".



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: underwerks
I would only support such a measure on the condition they testify against the drug pusher that sold it to the. Otherwise, they can suffer the consequences of their own poor decisions like normal. And that is ridiculous of the cops to just watch this man trip out in public. He should have been detained immediately and isolated from the general population. Its all fun and games until somebody grabs an object and uses it as a weapon in a violent attack or damages property.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

I support legalization of all drugs for a variety of reasons, but Im not a user.

I lived in Oregon for 10 years and go back to visit every couple years. Heres what Ive seen change and what worries me about this given a couple things that have been evolving.

Without a federal legalization droves of people have been moving to the handful of legal states. At the same time silicon valley industry continues to move North and grow, driving property values through the roof as well as rent. A reasonable 2 bedroom going for 1750- 2k In Portland for instance.

With marijuana legalization and the influx of transplants both wealthy and not, a huge rise in homelessness has occured as well as crime and unsanitary conditions.

I feel further legalization without Federal legalization will continue this trend with drug users moving where their use is no longer criminal, but with a housing and job scenario that will leave larger and larger populations of homeless and the eventuality of increases in crime and health concerns.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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Addiction is a disease. They've been saying it for years. Criminalizing drugs addresses only one part of that trouble.

I think one reason drug enforcement is so pervasive is because what drugs do. Intoxicated people rarely can drive or operate anything safely. They can act incoherently and violently, unintentionally threatening the lives of others. In this way, hard drugs are like loaded guns in the hands of underage untrained persons. In response, we enact draconian laws in an attempt to control their use, but we end up making things worse doing so.

More reasonable ways to resolve drug problems is the answer.
edit on 7/11/2017 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: worldstarcountry

One of the messed up aspects of drugs and enforcement is a person in public (not driving a motor vehicle) cant be charged with possession by consumption (use). Once its in them nothing can be done about it (unless they get behind the wheel).

The only charges for consumption generally apply to alcohol and only if the person is under 21 (Minor in possession by consumption / standard is appears to be visibly intoxicated).

If they do something that places themselves in danger then you might swing a medical hold / psyche hold till the person returns to reality (civil and not criminal).



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket

Even in states that decriminalized Marijuana, possession of it is still illegal under federal law. The DOJ adopted a policy of not cracking down on states that have passed those laws. If the DOJ wants, they could perform a sweep and enforce federal law in those states.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:25 PM
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I applaud any state attempting to end the war on drugs.

Ending the war on drugs would go a long way toward repairing many of the issues we face as a nation.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:30 PM
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I think that more money should be spent on rehabilitation.

Get the money and gangs out of drugs. If you decriminalize drugs you will destroy the profit in dealing drugs

You will also get rid of the glamor associated with illegal drugs.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:31 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Yes, I am fully aware of that, however in the mean time...the observations I mentioned are valid as even if the Feds eventually do crack down...the aforementioned homelessness issues have already and continue to occur.


+1 more 
posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

As a former drug counselor in part of my life, I hope to Hell that Oregon has the bucks to support all of those that are going to need help with their addictions and the effects on their families members. Need I not mention the criminal effects on non-users and the justice system? Oh, I know, we are all entitled to be stupid and go our own way..., but those addicts do not live in a world that does not impinge upon other decent, souls that want none of the heavy drug world.

In a few years time, Oregon's experiment should prove to be a rock around liberal necks. Maybe just in time for the next presidential election.
edit on 11-7-2017 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
I applaud any state attempting to end the war on drugs.

Ending the war on drugs would go a long way toward repairing many of the issues we face as a nation.

I agree completely.


It would go a long way towards repairing the relationship between police officers and citizens in this country.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra



If they do something that places themselves in danger then you might swing a medical hold / psyche hold till the person returns to reality (civil and not criminal).

I know if somebody was tripping balls in this city, that person would not be in the streets in that condition if witnessed by patrol officers. Not that they should be charged, just that they need to be removed from the general public because we have no idea if he is on £§Ð, or meth or PCP or bath salts or what have you. But they would likely still be charged for public disorderly or something of that nature sine it is Florida.

With our history of zombie attacks by people allegedly on bath salts (even though tox always comes back negative), I think the LEO's here just want to play it safe.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:39 PM
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Long needed step. I do believe that they need help otherwise, jail overcrowding to not treating their addiction hasn't been helping any of the drug epidemics.


originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: underwerks

As a former drug counselor in part of my life, I hope to Hell that Oregon has the bucks to support all of those that are going to need help with their addictions and the effects on their families members. Need I not mention the criminal effects on non-users and the justice system? Oh, I know, we are all entitled to be stupid and go our own way..., but those addicts do not live in a world that does not impinge upon other decent, souls that want none of the heavy drug world.


Maybe a portion of the Cannabis tax money can be funneled into help with addictions.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Thanks for a bit of sanity in all this.

Pot? Sure.

All the rest?

NO WAY!



Seriously? This is what you want 'legal'? Why not just go out and shoot them and put them out of their misery.

You stupid sogs.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:42 PM
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originally posted by: worldstarcountry
a reply to: underwerks
I would only support such a measure on the condition they testify against the drug pusher that sold it to the. Otherwise, they can suffer the consequences of their own poor decisions like normal. And that is ridiculous of the cops to just watch this man trip out in public. He should have been detained immediately and isolated from the general population. Its all fun and games until somebody grabs an object and uses it as a weapon in a violent attack or damages property.

It was the right thing for those police officers to do. What's the alternative? Jump on him and risk hurting or maybe killing the person, themselves, or a bystander? You only make a person on psychedelics more likely to injure themselves or someone else by resorting to those tactics.

It may be unsavory to the eyes to watch a person lose their marbles in public but that's no reason to apply force and make the situation more dangerous and unpredictable.

It was a nice change of pace to see police officers actually not resorting to force right off the bat. You may disagree.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: underwerks


You may disagree.

Correct, but I am not about to make a thing of it. Hindsight is 20/20. How many people would be praising the police efforts if he instantly grabbed a bottle from the trash and just started attacking a bystander? That is not a risk Law enforcement should be willing to gamble IMO is all.



posted on Jul, 11 2017 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: underwerks
The drug war has fueled much of the illegal immigration of both innocent people fleeing the violence and economic squalor, and the criminals who come here to establish themselves.

It has fueled a police/citizen relationship that has severely damaged us as a nation.

Most drug policies were created with overt racial biases.

There would be far less violence and people could then stop talking about stupid crap like gun control.

Many gangs would run out of money to fuel their criminal activity.

State and local budgets would breath an enormous sigh of relief and the burden placed on taxpayers would eventually decrease substantially as there would be no more justification for spending that money anymore.



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