Oregon passes major drug policy reform at ballot box

Oregon voters approved drug policy changes across the board last Tuesday. Oregon became the first states in the nation to allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin with the passing of measure 109. With Measure 110, Oregon decriminalized possession all illegal drugs. Oregon became stricter on buyers of tobacco products with a new tax in measure 108.

Under Measure 109 psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient of hallucinogenic mushrooms, would not be decriminalized. It would however allow therapists to provide it to their patients to treat mental health issues.

As The Intercept explains Measure 110 removes “criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of illegal substances. After February 1, the penalty for drug possession will be akin to a hefty traffic ticket: a $100 fine. Those who cannot or do not want to pay can choose to agree to a ‘health assessment’ at an addiction recovery center.”

While many left of center organizations endorsed Measure 108, the Rural Organizing Project refused to take a stance on it. The organization noted, “While this tax might discourage some people from continuing or starting to use tobacco products, it also lets tobacco companies off the hook.” The tax functions as a sales tax, a regressive tax, proportionally hitting the poor more to fund healthcare programs. There is no corporate tax component to it.

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