#Oregon’s state legislature just reduced penalties for #drugpossession in a bill also intended to reduce #racialprofiling by #lawenforcement agencies.
H.B. 2355 passed both the House and Senate last week and reduces possession of illegal #drugs to misdemeanors rather than felonies as long as the person in possession does not have prior drug convictions. According to a press release issued on July 7 by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, the bill provides for “the reduction of penalties for lower level drug offenders. The bill also reduces the maximum penalty for Class A misdemeanors by one day to avoid mandatory deportation for misdemeanants.” According to the text of the bill, drugs like #LSD, #MDMA, #cocaine, #meth, #oxycodone, and #heroin are essentially decriminalized in small amounts. Each drug listed is accompanied by the following text, indicating possession is only a felony if: “(a) The person possesses a usable quantity of the controlled substance and: (A) At the time of the possession, the person has a prior felony conviction; (B) At the time of the possession, the person has two or more prior convictions for unlawful possession of a usable quantity of a controlled substance.” The “misdemeanor” title applies for varying amounts of different drugs. For example, the maximum allowable amount of acid is up to “40 units,” while individuals may have up to five MDMA pills or less than one gram before their “offense” crosses the line into a felony. Less than two grams of cocaine constitutes a misdemeanor.
As Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a Democrat representing Portland told Portland-based health outlet the Lund Report, “We’ve got to treat people, not put them in prison. It would be like putting them in the state penitentiary for having diabetes… This is a chronic brain disorder and it needs to be treated this way.” “When you put people in prison and given them a felony conviction, you make it very hard for them to succeed,” he added.
The bill also reduces probation periods for both felony and misdemeanor drug charges. According to the updated text of Section 19 of ORS 137.633: 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾