Oregon’s House of Representatives is decriminalizing six hard drugs with House Bill 2355, now pending passage in the state's senate. Soon heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy could yield no greater punishment than one might receive for a traffic infraction.
If an Oregonian is caught with small amounts of these substances, does not have any prior felony convictions, and has less than three prior convictions for drugs, they will no longer be considered to have broken the law. This is a bipartisan effort; Republican State Senator Jackie Winters of Salem is backing it in the senate. She believes the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted people of color.
Democrat Representative Mitch Greenlick of Portland said convicting hard drug users is “like putting them in the state penitentiary for having diabetes,” citing the disease model of addiction. Other Democrats in Oregon oppose the bill. Scappoose Senator Betsy Johnson said that taking away the felony classification means people will be less likely to comply with the treatment portion of drug sentences.
Oregon has already decriminalized and legalized marijuana. Mike Opelka implored "Oregon, come on!" on today's "Pure Opelka." The state also wants to provide free abortions to citizens and people in the country illegally. "Oregon, what are you doing?!" he asked.