Real Life Smacks Oregon Democrats Upside the Head As Bill to Recriminalize Drugs Heads to a Vote – RedState

The death of George Floyd in 2020 sent the left to a new level of crazy and woke. In addition to the wonderful idea of “defund the police,” many left-leaning cities went completely soft on crime. If the police weren’t defunded, they were otherwise completely prevented from doing their job. But then there was Oregon. In what seemed like a nod to Floyd’s drug use, that same year, Oregon decriminalized drug use. That’s right, all drugs, even drugs like heroin and fentanyl. But four years later, the usual kittens and sunshine utopia that the left always promises with their insane ideas has failed to emerge, and Oregonians are getting a healthy dose of reality.

House Bill 4002 passed in the Oregon House on Thursday by a vote of 51-7. It will now go to the Oregon State Senate for a vote. The bill is designed to roll back Measure 110, which was passed in 2020, that decriminalized drug use. The new bill would recriminalize the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs. The bill was backed surprisingly by Oregon House Democrats and, as such, has a hefty price tag. The $211 million price tag includes what is being called “shovel-ready projects,” aimed at addressing addiction and mental health issues, medication for those already incarcerated who may have drug problems, and training for people who work in the healthcare fields.

So, what might have prompted this drastic turnaround? Cold, hard facts, that’s what. Since the beginning of Oregon’s experiment with making drug use legal in 2020, government data showed that since the COVID pandemic, Oregon suffered the sharpest increase in overdose deaths by a whopping 1,500 percent. There were 1,000 opiate overdoses in 2022, and Oregon public health officials say they do not expect a decrease anytime soon. 

Drug crimes also lead to other crimes. In Portland, data from the Mayor’s office showed that the homicide rate skyrocketed in 2022, with 96, four times the number of Portland’s 20-year average homicide rate. Homeless encampments have sprung up in places that were once desirable places for families to live, like the one across the Peninsula Crossing Trail in North Portland, which is just eight miles from the downtown area. It has caused an exodus of those families out of the area to the suburbs.

Not every lawmaker is on board with returning some semblance of law and order to law-abiding Oregonians. Opponents of the bill say it is a regression to failed criminalization policies and also cited Oregon’s strained criminal justice system. And, of course, other opponents of the measure used the old tried and true claim that passage of the bill would harm black and Hispanic communities the most. 

Oregon is not the only place where the left is discovering that the fairies and unicorns they imagined with their goofy policies are not going to show up. In San Francisco, residents there are tired of supporting drug addicts with their tax dollars, and it is expected that Proposition F, the Illegal Substance Dependence Screening and Treatment for Recipients of City Public Assistance measure, will pass. It will require drug testing for welfare recipients and was again, surprise, proposed by Democrat San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Welfare recipients do not, however, need to remain drug-free to continue to collect welfare payments, and the city will continue to provide housing even if recipients refuse a drug test. Granted, these proposals are taking place in liberal bastions, but it just might be the start of something.

In the meantime, it is always a good time when we can watch lefty policies come back to bite them. The best part, they always have the nerve to be surprised. Welcome to real-life, snowflakes.

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