ACLU: Over 70% of Oregonians Want to Reduce Drug Felonies


While Oregon has helped lead the way in the fight to end cannabis prohibition, demonstrating that you can legalize more freedom, create new jobs and generate revenue for your state by legalizing marijuana, there is still more work to be done to end the failed and harmful Drug War. The ACLU has long been a champion of ending the failed and harmful War on Drugs, and the Oregon ACLU is wisely advocating for a bill that would reduce drug possession felonies to misdemeanors. Polling of 600 registered Oregon votes found that 73% favor a bill that would make small drug possession charges a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Since marijuana is the most widely used (federally) illegal drug, most arrests across the nation are for cannabis offenses, but the wider Drug War has wreaked havoc across our nation, particularly for people of color. While Hollywood stars, famous musicians and other rich elites avoid jail and can afford the best rehab facilities, poor Black communities have been so devastated that professor Michelle Alexander coined our nation’s Drug War as “The New Jim Crow.”

Oregon has long been at the forefront of drug policy reform and even our sheriffs and police chiefs have come out in support of ending harmful drug possession felonies. All Oregonians should rally around this sensible bill and encourage their legislators to pass it. A sincere thanks to the ACLU and everyone working to end the failed and harmful Drug War.

Press release sent out by the ACLU of Oregon (please consider joining or making a donation):

Poll: Oregonians strongly support reducing drug sentences

New bill would do just that; press event 11 a.m. today in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon voters overwhelmingly support a proposal to reduce penalties for drug possession, according to a new poll.

The poll comes as a new bill, supported by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon,) would change small-scale drug possession to a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Press event today: 11 a.m.
Fourth Dimension Recovery Center: 3807 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
Large visuals explaining the poll in more detail
Interviews with people who’s lives have been impacted
Briefing about the poll, the new bill, Q&A

“The war on drugs has failed,” said David Rogers, the executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. “It has damaged families and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. A felony conviction for small-scale drug use is too harsh because it ruins people’s lives. Oregonians are ready for a smarter approach. This bill is our chance to win one, and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure it passes.”

The poll also found that Oregonians were more likely to vote for both a district attorney or a sheriff  who is reform minded. Nearly two out of three Oregonians know someone who has struggled with drug addiction.
The poll was conducted by GBA Strategies, a nonpartisan public opinion research firm with deep experience on public opinion research about criminal justice, through live interviews, via phone and cell phone, using a probability sample of 600 registered Oregon voters, between Jan. 26 to 29. The answers provided reflect the entire population sampled. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval.



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