Assist For Drug Decriminalization Amongst GOP Voters On The Rise, New Ballot Reveals How A lot

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By Jelena Martinovic

Since Richard Nixon declared the Battle on Medicine practically 51 years in the past, arrests, convictions and mass incarceration have been the centerpiece of the U.S.’s drug coverage method.

The primary important breakthrough within the discipline of drug decriminalization got here within the type of the Drug Coverage Alliance’s 2020 legislative proposal “Dismantling the Federal Drug Battle: A Complete Drug Decriminalization Framework,” which seeks to take away felony penalties for all possession or personal-use portions of managed substances, shifting assets in direction of a public well being method.

marijuana arrest
Photograph by Gleti/Getty Photos

Later that yr, Oregonians authorised a measure that marked an unprecedented change within the historical past of U.S. drug coverage. Measure 110, which handed with 58.8% of the vote on the November poll, decriminalizes the possession of small quantities of all unlawful medication, together with cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, methamphetamine and LSD, amongst others. It additionally creates a assist program for drug abuse and dependancy.

In June 2021, U.S. Home Reps Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO), in collaboration with the Drug Coverage Alliance (DPA), launched the Drug Coverage Reform Act (DPRA) — a invoice searching for to finish felony penalties for medication possession on the federal degree. On the time, a ballot by Information for Progress and The Attraction, which analyze public opinion round drug prohibition and decriminalization, revealed that seven in ten People say they consider federal drug insurance policies will not be working and should be reformed.

GOP Assist For Drug Decriminalization Grows

The new survey from Information For Progress and the Individuals’s Motion Institute discovered {that a} huge majority of People, together with most Republicans, assist drug decriminalization.

Whereas there are nonetheless 25% of those that oppose the reform, assist for the proposal has elevated by 10 proportion factors general since voters have been requested about it final yr.

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The current survey, which concerned 1,260 seemingly voters and a margin of error of +/-3 proportion factors, revealed {that a} majority of Republican voters (54%) agree with drug decriminalization as in comparison with 42% final yr.

Democrats and independents again the coverage change at 82% and 75%, respectively.

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“Final yr, the state of Oregon decriminalized the possession of small quantities of medicine. As an alternative of being prosecuted, an individual possessing small quantities of medicine will obtain a nice (like a parking ticket). An individual can get the nice waived in the event that they take part in screenings from providers like therapy, housing, psychological well being care, and employment. Would you assist or oppose the same measure nationwide,” a brand new decriminalization query requested, thereby offering extra specifics in regards to the coverage.

What US Government Could Learn From Oregon’s New Drug Decriminalization Law
Photograph by LeszekCzerwonka/Getty Photos

Overdose Prevention Facilities Acquire Reputation

A nationwide ballot launched Friday confirmed that assist for overdose prevention facilities (OPCs) can also be rising. Almost two-thirds of these requested assist protected consumption websites.

New York Metropolis turned the first within the nation to open OPCs in November, the place folks can use illicit medication and obtain medical care and providers. Three weeks after opening the OPCs, the NYC Well being Division reported that the websites had saved dozens of lives by having averted not less than 59 overdoses and that the websites have been utilized greater than 2,000 instances.

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With practically two in 5 People both figuring out somebody who has or is struggling with dependancy or overdose, OPCs have gotten a necessity.

To sort out the document variety of overdoses, President Joe Biden unveiled a brand new technique on Thursday for coping with drug dependancy in addition to overdoses. In his plan, Biden seeks to broaden entry to medicine for opioid overdoses, improve funding for regulation enforcement and broaden sanctions towards traffickers, reported Reuters.

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Within the meantime, the variety of states taking steps towards drug decriminalization is on the rise, together with Vermont, Florida, Maryland, Rhode Island and Washington State, to call just a few.

This text initially appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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