In Oregon, poll shows that locals think drug decriminalization wasn't such a good idea after all

The nice thing about drug decriminalization brought on by popular sentiment is that it always reverses, once people get a whiff of just what that's like for them.

And sure enough, in Oregon, the locals aren't happy with their own decision to decriminalize hard drugs three years ago.

According to the Associated Press:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s first-in-the-nation law that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs in favor of an emphasis on addiction treatment is facing strong headwinds in the progressive state after an explosion of public drug use fueled by the proliferation of fentanyl and a surge in deaths from opioids, including those of children.

“The inability for people to live their day-to-day life without encountering open-air drug use is so pressing on urban folks’ minds,” said John Horvick, vice president of polling firm DHM Research. “That has very much changed people’s perspective about what they think Measure 110 is.”

When the law was approved by 58% of Oregon voters three years ago, supporters championed Measure 110 as a revolutionary approach that would transform addiction by minimizing penalties for drug use and investing instead in recovery.

A poll by Emerson College Polling last August showed that a clear majority -- 56% -- wanted the measure, Proposition 110, that decriminalized hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine, to be scrapped.

Seems the Soros propaganda about the glories of free drugs isn't what they claimed it was.

And it's not hard to see why. Sure, you can make a libertarian claim of sorts that what a person does with his own body and drugs is his own business. 

The problem is, it's also everyone else's business when the drug addict goes to the bathroom on a public sidewalk or in a doorway; sets up a tent and blocks your walkway; sleeps in your doorway with vomit coming out of his mouth; spare-changes you at close range on your way to your car; steals from stores or mugs bystanders to finance his addiction; spews the odor of pot smoke and other filthy poisonous substances for you to breathe through the cracks in your apartment; sleeps on public park benches, meaning, you can't enjoy the park; stinks up the bus so you can't sit down on the next seat; follows, hovers, and scares your children; drops needles, roach clips, tiny baggies and often drugs themselves in public places for children and pets to find; and in a drug-addled haze, jumps off some building naked and dies, forcing others to clean up the mess.

That's not libertarian at that point, that is someone with an addiction foisting his lifestyle onto innocent people whether they like it or not, same as if a tyrannical regime sent the goons in to harass them. Of course it's oppressive. It's oppressive for the user, it's oppressive for his family who have to endure the heartbreak of listening to an addict explain why he is right and the world is wrong, and it's oppressive to the public. This is why civilized societies have drug laws.

Drug legalization of all sorts leads to higher drug user counts and brings in drug tourists as well, rendering the number of addicts unacceptably high. A vast NGO network then springs up to "help" the addicted and works to perpetuate itself rather than cure addicts, costing taxpayers billions and ensuring that the problem expands. Pot itself is a gateway drug that often leads to a desire to experiment with even stronger drugs. Anything to get a bigger high.

Portland went all in for this garbage, starting with its decision to loosen marijuana consumption laws and then loosened hard drug laws. The City of Portland has the highest drug consumption in the nation.

According to local station KTOY

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), Oregon has one of the highest rates of marijuana use in the nation. The NSDUH is an annual survey that collects data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and mental health among the U.S. population aged 12 and older. The NSDUH data for 2019-2020 shows that:

  1. 27.82% of Oregonians aged 12 and older used marijuana in the past year, the second highest rate in the U.S., after the District of Columbia (30.81%).
  2. 19.26% of Oregonians aged 12 and older used marijuana in the past month, the second highest rate in the U.S., after the District of Columbia (21.17%).
  3. 9.04% of Oregonians aged 12 and older had a marijuana use disorder in the past year, the highest rate in the U.S.. A marijuana use disorder is defined as meeting the criteria for abuse or dependence on marijuana, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms, craving, tolerance, or impaired functioning due to marijuana use.

That's a lot of psychos running around and probably doesn't reflect all of the problems, given that it only surveys pot use, not the rest of the drugs being used.

We know the result of course: Businesses are fleeing. Corporations are fleeing. Heck, lefties are fleeing. Anecdotally, I know a few who have.

It goes to show that drug legalization is hell on decent people and decent people have to pay the price. Now the tide is turning, as it has in Alaska, in Amsterdam, in Zurich -- in any place that thinks it can legalize drugs with no consequences. Oregon is a beautiful state that was once known for its scenery, athletics, pioneer history, artisan craftmanship, and cuisine. Now it's a pit. One hopes that Oregon's voters can figure their way out of this stinking brown bag they've their stuck their head into.

Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0



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