Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note. – Stateline

Oregon voters in 2020 passed Measure 110, a first-in-the-nation law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of controlled substances such as heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and fentanyl. Three years later, public drug use has wearied even the most tolerant of Oregonians…

Full story: Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note. – Stateline

4 Replies to “Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note. – Stateline”

  1. I am completely for decriminalizing drugs, but in an effort to play devil’s advocate, how bad would drug problems get if people know they can get high without repercussions? As stated in the article, the drug problem is so bad that someone was ingesting fentanyl three blocks from city hall. Portland is offering a rehabilitation program, where there are specifically ways to take in fentanyl addicted people into a house, then take them to a drug and alcohol facility shortly after. The catch is, they have to want to go voluntarily, and they cannot be forced. In an effort to get drug addicts off the street, who are a danger to themselves and others, is it rational to try to barter with an active drug addict, or to arrest them for the substance which they will be forced to quit after going to jail/prison?

    1. I agree with drug decriminalization but the way it was done in Oregon was irresponsible at best and unethical at worst. The lawmakers should have put more thought into introducing measure 110, simply making small portions of drugs legal would not solve their drug problems. It just allows drug users to be more public about their use. No programs or public services were established in order to help those addicted to drugs. Now there is a possibility that politicians in Oregon and voters will be harder to convince to push for drug decriminalization in the future due to measure 110’s failure.

  2. I agree that decriminalizing drugs can be a good thing, but this situation is very unique and raises many ethical concerns. Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that drug addiction is a complex issue, and simply decriminalizing drugs may not automatically lead to a surge in drug problems. Countries like Portugal have successfully decriminalized drugs while also focusing on harm reduction and treatment, which has led to positive outcomes. The example of someone using fentanyl near city hall is undoubtedly concerning, but it’s not necessarily a direct consequence of drug decriminalization. It’s crucial to examine the broader context, such as access to addiction treatment and mental health support. Regarding the rehabilitation program in Portland, while it’s commendable to offer help to addicts voluntarily, it’s also important to recognize that addiction can often impair one’s ability to make rational decisions. Balancing personal choice with the need for intervention to protect individuals from harm remains a challenging ethical dilemma. While there are valid concerns about drug decriminalization, it’s crucial to base our arguments on a comprehensive understanding of the issue, including potential solutions and lessons from successful approaches in other places.

  3. This article focuses on measure 110 passed in Oregon which decriminalized small amounts of drugs. While I don’t think this is a bad idea, the method of which it was implemented was irresponsible. Drug control is a huge part of policing and any laws put into place which pertains to drug use should be considered greatly. As stated in the article overdoses increased in the time frame of measure 110 being implemented. Which could harm the potential reprisal of measure 110 from being voted into action due to the failure of the original law. The law should have been given more time so that Oregon could prepare for the increase of drug usage in the state. Drug rehabilitation centers and other outlets should have been considered before voting on the law. Now measure 110, which could have been beneficial, could be completely thrown out due to its failure.

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