How can the Oregon government make drugs illegal again with no public comment periods or voter input at all?

submitted by SnausagesinaBlanket edited

Their main excuse? Police were never properly trained on how to handle possession and use cases so they now want to offer immunity for a misdemeanor if you take treatment instead. If not, you get a misdemeanor and the draconian shit starts all over again. Source

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18 Comments

NateNate60 , edited

I am an Oregonian. The Legislative Assembly is caving to public pressure.

I want to first say that this isn't about whether decriminalisation works. The views I am about to present are not necessarily held by me, but I am merely talking about the existence of these opinions because they deserve discussion.

People, in Oregon, generally viewed the decriminalisation programme as a failure. The Legislative Assembly failed to fund the necessary companion programmes and police training that would have been needed to give it the best chance of succeeding. Instead, when the referendum passed and decriminalisation came into force (without the involvement of the Legislative Assembly), they decided to just let it fail.

The reasons why decriminalisation failed are debated, but only a small subset of voters are privy to this debate and even understand the arguments. The rest see a failed experiment where the Government just legalised all drugs. It's easy to believe the latter and since it sounds logical to most people, that's where they stop thinking about it.

As a result, a majority of Oregonians believe that decriminalisation has failed, and the Legislative Assembly is acting on that.

Some people in this thread are blaming pharmaceutical companies and lobbying. That is a knee-jerk, unreasoned and ignorant reaction that fails at any amount of serious scrutiny and reflects an utter ignorance of what Oregonians actually think. If anything, pharmaceutical companies would have everything to gain from people having easier access to their products.

bradorsomething

We didn’t do the access to treatment part correctly, from my perspective. OPB’s Oregon On the Record had some good interviews about this. The real heavy lifting was getting people into treatment and off drugs, but we didn’t fund it well.

HubertManne

Ultimately because its how the legislative system works. If drugs had been put into the state constitution as a right then they could not.

jordanlund

Because citizens stepped over hobo shit in front of their front door one too many times, went to their representatives and said "this shit has to stop!" and the representatives went "You're right! There ought to be a law!"

It's a State version of this:

https://youtu.be/SZ8psP4S6BQ

loomi

The jailing has the street level appearance of fewer homeless on the street since they move to the jail for a bit. So while it’s going to cost the tax payer, the tax payer is going think “hey cool the homeless encampment is gone! Progress!”

Drug addiction and homelessness are really insidious problems.

jordanlund

Under 110 the choice was "Get treatment or get a $100 ticket that will never be enforced."

Out of 16,000 people ticketed, less than 1% called the toll free number to ask for treatment.

Under the new rules it's "Get treatment or go to jail."

I wonder which will be more effective in getting people treatment?

bradorsomething

Heard an interview from people trying to help with the program saying there were 1 hr hold times on the number to call for help. Which got you another time to call for an hour hold time. It was poorly done.

huginn

Ah yes. Shitting in the streets. Classically a problem caused by drugs and definitely not anything else.

Good news! Because drugs are illegal now we don't have to build housing for the ever increasing homeless population!

jonne , edited

I mean, it is sort of a common thing in areas where heroin use is prevalent due to its effect on the digestive system.

The thing is, the law provided for treatment options and other ways to help addicts, but it was never implemented, probably on purpose to get this exact outcome.

ShepherdPie

The problem with this entire argument is that this was occurring long before the ballot measure passed in 2020 when "using drugs gets you a trip to jail." Putting people in jail once again is just wasting our tax dollars because it obviously didn't work as a deterrent before and won't work not.

After failing to fund any treatment centers like the law mandated, state Dems caved to Republican propaganda in order to do better in this year's election.

jonne

Yeah, of course. Drug use has been going up in other states that didn't go down this route. It's a health issue, not a criminal issue, but there's too many people that are profiting off throwing scores of people in prison.

Decriminalisation should go hand in hand with defunding police and funding housing, health and education, so of course the police isn't going to be cooperative if you're trying to do that.

huginn

The point is that people are doing drugs on the street because the street is where they live.

If druggies have homes they do drugs at home.

jonne

Yeah, of course. But they were unwilling to fund that aspect of the decriminalisation.

kadotux

That's well said!

slazer2au

Because voter input is all an illusion.

cerement

dollars = votes, pharma companies provided plenty of voter input …

Ultragigagigantic

What are you going to do about it?

nothacking

Making decisions is the whole point of repesentives. If you don't like their choices, don't vote for them. Unfortunately, most places use first-past-the-post voting, which tends to result in 2 extreme parties, and people end up having to vote for the one that sucks less.