Oregon: Governor Tina Kotek Signs Bill Into Law Making Drug Possession Illegal Again

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 02: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tina Kotek speaks with members of the media before casting her ballot at a ballot drop box on November 2, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Oregon's 2022 gubernatorial race has garnered national attention in recent weeks as Kotek's Republican opponent, Christine Drazan, has risen in the polls to draw within striking distance of victory. Oregon has not elected a Republican governor since 1982. (Photo by Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
12:03 PM -Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Oregon Democrat Governor Tina Kotek has signed a bill into law that will once again criminalize the possession of illicit drugs.


“This ends a first-in-the-nation experiment with decriminalization that was hobbled by implementation issues,” according to AP News.

The overturning of the law reverts a 2020-voter approved measure that made personal possession of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines only punishable by a ticket and a maximum fine of $100. The previous law would send those charged with possession of drug[s] to a treatment facility rather than being punished more harshly by the criminal justice system. 

Kotek (D-Ore.) said at the time that the law’s success will depend on “deep coordination” between courts, police, defense attorneys, prosecutors and mental health providers, which she described as “necessary partners to achieve the vision for this legislation.”

Supporters of Measure 110 claim that treatment is far more effective than jail time in terms of helping people overcome addiction.

When the law was passed, some officials in the Beaver State claimed that the millions of dollars in cannabis dispensary tax revenue would go towards funding addiction services. However, with money reportedly not coming in for the addiction services like it was promised, it “prompted state Democrats to change their stance on the decriminalization policy” over recent months.

GOP leaders were highly critical of the decriminalization measure, with House Minority Leader Jeff Helfrich saying that the law illustrated how Republicans “stood united and forced Democrats” to restore criminal penalties.

The new changes will go into effect on September 1st

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