Oregon 1st state to decriminalize possession of drugs

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon can no longer arrest someone for possession of small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs.

A ballot measure that decriminalized them took effect on Monday. Instead, those found in possession would face a $100 fine or a health assessment.

Backers of the ballot measure, which Oregon voters passed by a wide margin in November, hailed it as a revolutionary move for the United States.

Ballot Measure 110’s backers said treatment needs to be the priority and that criminalizing drug possession was not working.

Oregon is a pioneer in liberalizing drug laws.

It was the first state, in 1973, to decriminalize marijuana possession.

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