Oregon Re-Criminalizes Drugs after Failed Experiment Yields 1,500% Spike in ODs

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(Headline USAOregon lawmakers voted overwhelmingly this week to reverse their decriminalization of drugs as fatal overdose numbers continued to increase in the state.

Along with other outlandish experiments in social justice, such as defunding police, the Democrat-controlled state passed the law decriminalizing possession of all drugs during the 2020 election, in an effort ostensibly, to keep drug users out of prison and send them to rehab.

But lawmakers have now acknowledged that if users had no desire to stop the drug use and if there were no punishment for it, then they would continue to use them at unprecedented rates.

“What we have tried to do is give law enforcement tools they need to intervene in the moment and hand [addicted people] off to the behavioral health mental world,” Democratic state Rep. Jason Kropfl told the Wall Street Journal. “The overarching goal is how do you sometimes give a little bit of a push to treatment.” 

As a result of the policy, Oregon has seen a 1,500% rise in overdose deaths—the largest increase in the country.

The bill revising the decriminalization law would now make small possession of drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine illegal. It passed both state houses on Friday and was awaiting signature from Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek

Kotek has not confirmed whether she plans to sign the bill since it passed, but has signaled an openness to it.

“If it’s a bill that I think will have the outcomes we need, I’m committed to making sure we can move forward,” Kotek told reporters in January.

“The issue of addiction and the need for pathways to recovery should not be a political football,” she added, despite the fact that responsibility for the fiasco rests squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats in power. “We should understand any changes that we’re making.”

Some on the Left, however, have derided the bill as a step backward, claiming it will disproportionately affect minorities.

“The disproportionate impact on my community is ultimately too concerning for me to support the bill,” said state Rep. Andrea Valderrama, who is Peruvian-American and was one of the only lawmakers to vote against the bill.

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