Oregon bill decriminalizes possession of heroin, cocaine and other drugs

Studies have shown that Oregon conviction rates disproportionately affect minorities
The Washington Post (US)
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Oregon legislature passed a bill that reclassifies possession of several drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor, reducing the punishments and expanding access to drug treatment for people without prior felonies or convictions for drug possession. Oregon lawmakers hope to encourage drug users to seek help rather than filling up the state’s prisons as an epidemic of abuse spreads. The bill also attempts to reduce racial profiling via data collection and analysis to help police departments understand when their policies or procedures result in disparities. If signed into law, Oregon would be among several states that have reduced punishments for possession of small amounts of some illicit drugs.