Oregon Recriminalizes Hard Drugs

The Oregon State Senate passed a bill to make small amounts of hard drugs punishable again on March 1, ending the state’s first-in-the-nation drug-decriminalization experiment that took effect in 2021.

The new bill makes possession of drugs such as heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine punishable by up to six months in jail, and it enables police to confiscate drugs and take action against their use in public places. Yet drug users will still have the chance to seek treatment before facing any consequences, lawmakers said.

Failed experiment: In 2020, 60 percent of Oregon voters cast their ballot for the decriminalization of small amounts of hard drugs, arguing that legal consequences on drugs deter addicts from seeking help.

But the effects of the decriminalization law, known as Measure 110, have been devastating. Oregon has suffered a 1,500 percent increase in overdose deaths since the pandemic, and violent crime and homelessness have soared in the state.

What has developed in the last three years is not the utopian Shangri-La that we have been promised with ballot Measure 110, rather a dystopian nightmare that is akin to a grim Hollywood movie.
—Christopher Parosa, Eugene district attorney

The Trumpet says: While recriminalizing drugs could help in the short term, it will not solve the overall problem. The war on drugs is only part of a much larger spiritual problem prevalent in America today.

Unlike man’s laws, God’s laws are immutable. When we break that law, we suffer the consequences.

Learn more: Read “How Not to Win the War on Drugs.”