Drug laws relaxed across nation

Propositions legalizing drug use prevailed at the ballot box yesterday, with five states OKing marijuana and Oregon decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin and meth.

The Oregon drug initiative will allow people arrested with small amounts of hard drugs to avoid going to trial, and possible jail time, by paying a $100 fine and attending an addiction recovery program. The treatment centers will be funded by revenues from legalized marijuana, which was approved in Oregon several years ago.

"Today's victory is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which backed the measure.

Weed was approved for recreational use in South Dakota, Montana, New Jersey and Arizona, and medicinally in Mississippi.

Oregon and D.C. also legalized the thereapeutic use of psychedelics.