Top Prosecutor In Oregon’s Largest County Ends Drug Possession Cases Following Decriminalization Vote

MJ moment

Another Oregon county prosecutor announced on Thursday that his office will immediately stop pursuing drug possession cases following voters’ approval of a decriminalization initiative last month—even though it doesn’t formally take effect until February. The early move comes as state regulators are seeking out applicants to serve on a new advisory board charged with figuring out how to distribute funds for expanded drug treatment services in accordance with the ballot measure. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt is the third prosecutor to get ahead of the curve, proactively enacting a policy change in recognition of the will of the voters. District attorneys in both Clackamas and Deschutes County have also made the change, but Schmidt’s decision is particularly notable because he represents the state’s most populous county. “The passage of Ballot Measure 110 sends a clear message of strong public support that drug use should be treated as a public health matter rather than a criminal justice matter,” Schmidt said in a press release. “Past punitive drug policies and laws resulted in over-policing of diverse communities, heavy reliance on correctional facilities and a failure to promote public safety and health. It’s time to move beyond these failed practices, expand access to treatment and focus our limited law enforcement resources to target high-level, commercial drug offenses.” Under the voter-approved decriminalization measure, simple drug possession will be treated as a Class E infraction, punishable by a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time. That fine can be waived if an individual shows a court they have completed a substance misuse assessment. “Multnomah County voters approved Ballot Measure 110 by an overwhelming 77% margin,” a memo to staffers in Schmidt’s office says.”While the effective date of the measure is February 1, 2021, there is no justification for using law enforcement resources to…

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Source : Top Prosecutor In Oregon’s Largest County Ends Drug Possession Cases Following Decriminalization Vote

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