Oregon Legislature approves bill to re-criminalize certain drug possession

Oregon Legislature approves bill to re-criminalize certain drug possession - Crime and Courts - News

Title: Oregon Lawmakers Reconsider Drug Decriminalization with New Bill Focused on Fentanyl

Oregon’s legislative body has recently approved a bill, HB4002, aiming to make the possession of certain controlled substances, including fentanyl, a misdemeanor offense within the state. This move comes in contrast to the previous voter-approved initiative that decriminalized all drugs for personal use and possession.

The proposed legislation now heads to Democratic Governor Tina Kotek’s desk for her approval, signaling a potential shift in the state’s approach to substance control.

The impetus behind this legislative action stems from growing concerns regarding the increased presence and dangerous implications of fentanyl in communities, particularly downtown Portland. In late January, Kotek, alongside local officials, declared a state of emergency specifically focused on the opioid crisis and fentanyl in this area.

The state Senate unanimously voted in favor of advancing the bill, with a tally of 21-8 votes, while the House previously passed it by an impressive margin of 51-7. The bipartisan support underscores the urgency and importance of addressing this issue within the state’s legal framework.

This developing story will be closely monitored and updated as further information becomes available. The potential re-criminalization of certain substances, such as fentanyl, highlights a delicate balance between public health concerns and criminal justice policies in Oregon.