Oregon’s hard-drug decriminalization — will Minnesota avoid the same fate?

As Minnesota moves into the “legalization of adult-use marijuana” business, it never hurts to keep an eye out for what’s next on the progressive agenda.

Look no further than Oregon, where their foray into hard-drug decriminalization has been a disaster, according to this NY Times Opinion Columnist Bret Stephens. Read his piece here.

Here are some quick facts:

  • In 2020 Oregon voters agreed to decriminalize “user” amounts of cocaine, meth, heroin, etc. They were promised a system whereby addicts would be issued a citation, and then call a hotline and sign up for treatment, which would be funded by taxes on “legal” marijuana.
  • In 2021, 40 of the 4,000 people issued citations called the hotline, which ended up costing taxpayers the equivalent of $7,000/call.
  • OD deaths increased from 280 to 745.
  • Shootings increased from 413 to 1,309.
  • Number of people living on the street rose by 29%.

Perhaps the most poignant message of how hard-drug legalization is faring in Oregon comes from a Portland addict.

“He can do drugs wherever he wants, and the cops no longer harass him. There are more dealers, scouting for fresh customers moving to paradise. That means drugs are plentiful and cheap.”

What are the chances Minnesotans will avoid this mistake? Stay tuned.