Oregon Governor Will Sign Bill That Criminalizes Illicit Drugs

2024-03-08 14:00:54

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) announced she will sign House Bill 4002, which criminalizes illicit drugs:

“Finally, reforms to Measure 110 will start to take shape, as I intend to sign House Bill 4002 and the related prevention and treatment investments within the next 30 days. As Governor, my focus is on implementation. My office will work closely with each implementing authority to set expectations, specifically in response to the Criminal Justice Center’s Racial Equity Impact Statement, which projected disproportionate impacts to communities of color and the accompanying concerns raised by advocates. House Bill 4002 will require persistent action and commitment from state and local government to uphold the intent that the legislature put forward: to balance treatment for individuals struggling with addiction and accountability.”

Voters passed Measure 110 in 2020 “to decriminalize most illegal possession of controlled substance offenses and redirect much of the state’s marijuana tax revenue to fund grants for addiction services.”

More from Fox News:

HB 4002 will now give illicit users an ultimatum: Be criminally charged or get treatment if caught with hard drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine. It also makes the possession of small amounts of drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. It enables police to confiscate the drugs and crack down on their use on sidewalks and in parks.

Additionally, the bill aims to make it easier to prosecute people who sell drugs and increase access to addictive medication.

Last September, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance banning public drug use. But the ordinance would only go into effect if Oregon changed its drug laws.

Even Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler supported the ordinance: “Just by virtue of illustrating how important this issue is, the last time I saw somebody consuming what what I believe to be fentanyl publicly on our streets was less than five minutes ago, three blocks from city hall.”

In July, Portland firefighters spoke to the media about all of the overdose deaths they’ve seen since the state decriminalized drugs:

Portland police data shows that back in 2020 nearly 90 people died from overdoses. The number jumped to 135 in 2021, then to 159 in all of 2022. So far this year there have been 151 deaths, all in less than seven months. Police expect that number to be around 300 by year’s end.

Portland firefighters are responding to more overdoses than fires — and when they do respond to a fire, it’s often-homeless camp related. When a KGW crew was riding along with Station 1 firefighters, three OD calls dropped in a matter of 25 seconds. They headed to one under a bridge in Southwest Portland.

“He hit some strong fetty and he just fell out and he was grey, turning grey, and his eyes were rolling back in his head. We just narcaned him and he came back,” said a drug user whose friend had just overdosed.


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Oregon Governor Will Sign Bill That Criminalizes Illicit Drugs


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