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Governor Reverses Liberal Policy, Bans Hard Drugs Once More

via KATU News

Oregon has reversed its 2020 policy decriminalizing small amounts of drugs after overdoses and addiction sharply increased.

A new law signed by the Democratic governor makes drug possession a misdemeanor again and allows police to confiscate drugs.

It aims to divert people to treatment instead of jail.

The initial 2020 measure was passed by voters but later disapproved as fentanyl crisis grew.

“Republicans stood united and forced Democrats to do what Oregonians demanded: recriminalize drugs,” Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich said.

Democrats and Republicans both introduced bills to roll back the policy.

While Republicans supported the change, some said more is needed to address the drug crisis.

“Make no mistake, this bill is not enough to undo the disaster of Measure 110,” Rep. Tim Knopp said. “House Republicans are ready to continue the work we started and bring real change to Salem in the next session.”

“Now that the Governor has given the recriminalization bill her stamp of approval, we can finally end the chapter on Oregon’s experiment with decriminalizing hard drugs.”

“HB 4002 is not a perfect solution; legislators will have much more work to do in upcoming sessions. But it sets a standard for how the state should approach the drug addiction crisis: by empowering law enforcement and our behavioral health systems to work together to help Oregonians struggling with chronic addiction seek life-saving treatment,” he said.

The governor and Portland mayor had declared emergencies over issues fueled by fentanyl.

The reversal was passed with bipartisan support and aims to empower law enforcement and treatment systems to curb overdoses.

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