Oregon’s Governor Tina Kotek has reversed the state’s groundbreaking policy of drug decriminalization, reintroducing criminal penalties for the possession of illegal drugs. The original law, enacted in 2020, aimed to reduce deaths and support addiction recovery by avoiding criminal charges for small possession amounts. However, it faced criticism for potentially increasing substance abuse and casualties. The new law not only reinstates penalties, up to six months in jail, but also emphasizes treatment options over incarceration, offering a pathway for individuals to seek help. This shift reflects broader debates on drug policy, public safety, and health care approaches to addiction.

Will reinstating criminal penalties for drug possession effectively address substance abuse issues?

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