By ANDREW SELSKY / AP
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon can no longer arrest someone for possession of small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other drugs as a ballot measure that decriminalized them took effect on Monday.
Instead, those found in possession would face a $100 fine or a health assessment that could lead to addiction counseling. 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.
“Today, the first domino of our cruel and inhumane war on drugs has fallen, setting off what we expect to be a cascade of other efforts centering health over criminalization,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which spearheaded the ballot initiative.