(NationRise.com) – Voters in Oregon regret the state’s decision to decriminalize drugs, according to a recent survey. DHM Research, based in Portland, spoke to 500 state residents and found that 63% wanted drugs recriminalized. Voters believe there does not need to be a compromise between a criminal justice approach and one of substance abuse treatment. People believe both can exist alongside each other.
Kristin Olson, a criminal attorney, said, “Oregon has turned into an international spectacle and I think we looked at each other and realize that we made an enormous mistake.”
Regret is higher among Republicans than Democrats. The survey found that 70% of Republican voters think the move was a mistake, compared to 38% of Democrats.
The Beaver State was the first in the US to decriminalize hard drugs, including heroin and cocaine, in 2020. The new laws, approved by a public vote, meant that personal possession would result in a $100 fine or a visit to an addiction-recovery center. People found to be producing or distributing drugs would still face criminal punishment.
Hungarian left-wing billionaire George Soros, a Drug Policy Alliance board member, backed the campaign to pass the new regulations. The Drug Policy Alliance works for the decriminalization of drugs nationwide.
As a result of the liberal approach, crime has exploded in the state of Oregon. Homelessness has also risen dramatically. According to an Oregon Live report in April, the number of people living on the streets jumped by 56% between 2020 and 2022.
Data also suggests that the intention of the legislation – to steer people toward help for their addictions – has not worked. When tickets are distributed to people caught in possession, they are given a hotline phone number to contact. However, out of 3,000 people, only 200 have taken up the offer of help.
Meanwhile, death from opioid drug use, such as the use of heroin, has increased above the national average. Fatal opioid overdoses increased by 58% between 2020 and 2021.
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