First US state decriminalises possession of hard drugs

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Several US states have backed referendum measures to legalise cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, while voters in Oregon they have gone a step further – decriminalising the possession of small amounts of hard drugs, including, but not limited to, heroin, meth and cocaine.

According to a report in The Independent, this means that possession of a non-commercial quantity of such drugs will not attract criminal charges and will be punishable by a fine of up to $100. The change makes history, with Oregon ‘becoming the first state to decriminalise drug possession’, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, which added: ‘This victory is truly transformative.’

Aside from Oregon, there were victories for drugs policy reformists in several other states. In Washington DC, the public voted in favour of decriminalising hallucinogenic mushrooms. In New Jersey, more than 60% of voters backed legalising marijuana for personal use – which means anyone over 21 years of age can use it for recreational purposes. While the referendum was a success, separate legislation will still need to be drafted to work out the details for its implementation.

Arizona voters also moved in favour of legalising marijuana for recreational purposes, including growing plants at home, while in Mississippi and South Dakota, a measure was approved to allow its medicinal use. Results were still being counted for a decision on whether those states had approved recreational cannabis.

 

Full report in The Independent

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