Minnesota Medical Association Endorses Decriminalizing Drugs

Minnesota Medical Association Endorses Decriminalizing Drugs
MJmooment

The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) is endorsing broad drug decriminalization, expungements for low-level possession and the promotion of statewide harm reduction programs. A resolution approved this month by the association recommends the “removal of criminal penalties for the possession of a small quantity of illicit drug for personal use and/or the possession of drug paraphernalia.” It also calls for the “creation of administrative panels which may render treatment referrals and civil penalties to offenders of simple possession.” The dual approach of decriminalization with treatment referral closely models the harm reduction policy that’s been in place in Portugal, for example. The association’s Board of Trustees passed the measure submitted for consideration by the MMA Policy Council, which studied harm reduction models as part of a workgroup that was formed earlier this year. The result of the panel’s work was a multi-part proposal that the full association has now adopted. The proposal—which was approved for consideration by MMA members through on online portal in a 219-34 vote—also urges “increased investment in statewide harm reduction and medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) programs,” as well as the release of those currently incarcerated over low-level drug possession and expungements for such offenses. At its December 12 meeting, the MMA Board of Trustees approved a policy proposal submitted through The Pulse on the “Decriminalization of Simple Possession of Illicit Drugs.”  https://t.co/s3h2eS5bVv — MnMedAssociation (@mnmed) December 20, 2022 A non-public draft of the full proposal that was obtained by Marijuana Moment states that the MMA “recognizes that criminal penalties for simple possession, or the possession of a small quantity of illicit drug for personal use and/or the possession of drug paraphernalia, are only justified if they yield a net benefit to population health.” “Criminal penalties for simple possession yield one potential benefit to population health in its…

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