Hold on to your hats kids, Oregon could soon become a whole lot crazier than it already is.
Last week, drug reform activists in the state have started collecting signatures to get a measure to decriminalize minor possession of all drugs onto the ballots.
The proposed measure called the “Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act,” or Initiative Petition 44 (IP44), was created to “establish a more humane and effective approach to drugs,” according to Marijuana Moment.
As of last Friday, the campaign has already collected 48,471 signatures out of the 112,020 needed to get it onto the ballots.
Under the proposal, Oregon would also vastly expand the number of addiction treatment centers.
In addition, transitional housing for addicts and drug education and outreach are also part of the proposal.
To solve the funding issue, the advocates suggest using Oregon’s unused legal cannabis sales tax revenue. All green tax revenue over $45 million per year would go towards funding the plan.
Oregon is notoriously bad at providing drug addiction treatment for the people who need it most. IP44 would increase the state’s funding for substance abuse control and prevention by almost 400%, the campaign explains.
The proposal also looks to decriminalize personal use amounts of all drugs. The campaign’s authors stress that this would not mean legalizing drugs, but to reduce criminal charges for users.
Felony charges for manufacturing or selling illegal drugs would remain in effect as well as all current laws against driving under the influence of drugs and other drug-related crimes.
Under IP44, anyone caught with small amounts of drugs would be handed a civil fine of up to $100 and no jail time. Currently, that same person would receive a misdemeanor charge.
According to the campaign, 8,600 Oregonians, are arrested for drugs every year — in other words, one every hour.
As in other states, enforcing drug prohibition laws wastes a lot of valuable time and resources of law enforcement, which could be better used to tackle violent crimes.