Oregon is the first state to decriminalize all illegal drugs

Oregon made history today. It has decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and meth, via Measure 110. Users in possession of drugs can now opt for rehab rather than go to prison. Oregon is, of course, the first state in the US to pass this type of legislation.

From USA Today:

Instead of a criminal justice-based approach, the state will pivot to a health care-based approach, offering addicts treatment instead of prison time. Those in possession will be fined $100, a citation that will be dropped if they agree to a health assessment.

The law goes into effect Monday and will be implemented over the next decade by the state officials at the Oregon Health Authority.

Advocates say the pivot will be life-changing for thousands of Oregonians.

As for the costs of rehab versus imprisonment, according to Rep. Bonnie Watson Colman (D-NJ) via USA Today, "it's far more expensive to pay to incarcerate someone than get them treatment. Rehab programs not only empower individuals, she says, but save communities money."

Image by Korwin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0