Oregon to decriminalize six drugs

Two “landmark bills,” House Bill 378, and House Bill 2355,
were approved by the Oregon legislature last week and aim to
lift some restrictions on illicit drugs. House Bill 378
“reduces drug-related property crimes from felonies to
misdemeanors,” whereas House Bill 2355 “decriminalize[s] at
least six drugs, as long as the person doesn’t have any prior
felonies or more than two prior drug convictions. House Bill
378 passed 33-26 in the House, and 18-11 in the Senate. House
Bill 2355 similarly passed 36-23 in the house, and 20-9 in the
Senate. The bills will now move on to Governor Kate Brown for

The bills would render Oregon the first state to decriminalize
drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA when the
drugs appear in small scale, “personal” quantities, not to be
mistaken with amounts intended for distribution.

While the bills do not advocate for recreational drug use, they
do lessen the severity of the legal consequences for those
without prior recorded drug charges, a step in the right
direction for the legal landscape of drug use. The current
legal system has been criticized for its criminalization of
drugs, with many politicians noting that criminalization causes
many with drug addiction or dependency issues to become
continuously entangled in the criminal justice system when the
label “felon” is applied to drug addicts or abusers.


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Oregon to decriminalize six drugs