In November, Oregon completed a milestone when it’s residents passed a ballot measure to authorize all drugs and improve medical aid access. There are multiple indications that other American states join the bandwagon, especially after a New York Legislator introduced a similar reform last week.
Also, proposed legislation is awaiting approval in Washington state and California.
A recently proposed resolution in the Virginia state would require state administrators to study decriminalization models, like Oregon’s, that don’t involve crime-control strategies and underscore public health.
The Virginia resolution states that such reforms have culminated in large financial savings to these states in criminal cases’ adjudication and decreased responsibilities for prisons and jails.
A plethora of drug policy bill observers and activists remain uncertain about charting all-drug decriminalization through federal legislatures. Thus, most strong supporters are already eyeing the 2022 ballot vote.
However, efforts emanating from the statehouse in 2021 show that decriminalization is advancing more thanks to legislators. This comes after voters passed each major state-tier cannabis and drug reform measure tabled before them.
As 2021 legislative sessions commenced, here is a list of proposals making a lot of bells and whistles in 2021:
Last week, a reform launched by Senator Gustavo Rivera would expunge criminal fines for possession of minimal amounts of all-controlled substances and levy $50 fines.
The bill asserts that this legislation’s purpose is to revolutionize New York’s strategy on the use of controlled substances from a perspective centered around stigma and criminalization to one centered around compassion and science through the dissolution of civil and criminal penalties for drug possession.
Minor possession would be treated as an infringement punishable by a $50 fine rather than an A-Class misdemeanor.
Washington’s activists were initially expecting to include a marijuana authorization measure on last year’s state ballot. However, signature collections efforts were stalled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, Treatment First Washington plans on presenting the reform before the legislature this season.
Last Thursday, during a Zoom summit about the initiative, the group members said they’d been discussing House Legislators about finalizing the reform’s language and finding a sponsor.