Oregon decriminalizes possession of hard drugs, as four other states legalize recreational marijuana

The passage of Oregon’s Measure 110 means the state’s residents will no longer face arrests or prison sentences for carrying small amounts of drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycontin and methamphetamine. The measure, which passed by almost 60 percent, also lays out a groundwork for addicts to receive treatment as opposed to jail time.

“This is the most significant reform in our nation’s failed drug policies in a generation,” said Kassandra Frederique, the executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, which spent more than $4 million backing the measure. “It’s particularly significant because most people don’t realize that drug possession is the number one arrest in the country.”

Marijuana advocates, meanwhile, said that they hope the wide support for legalization seen on Tuesday will put pressure on Congress to change federal marijuana laws.

“It comes down to fact that marijuana prohibition has been an abject failure,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the…

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