As of August 1, 2022, one state has decriminalized drug possession altogether, and two states have decriminalization bills pending in the legislature. Author: Center for Public Health Legal Research

States are taking steps to decriminalize possession of most or all controlled substances, according to updated data released today by Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research on, which provides a detailed overview of legislation aimed at decriminalizing personal drug possession.

As of January 1, 2021, eight states have passed bills that decriminalize personal actions possession all or most controlled substances, including Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Of these states, two (Massachusetts and New York) have pending decriminalization bills. Bills in the remaining six states all failed without reaching a vote in the House.

“Decriminalization efforts have gained momentum since Oregon’s Proposition 110, but have largely failed,” said Kathy Moran-McCabe, senior law and policy analyst at the Center for Public Health Law Research and a researcher on the project. “Criminalizing drug possession contributes to the marginalization of people with substance use disorders, results in stark racial disparities and costs billions of dollars. Decriminalization is one step to support increased justice.”

Oregon is the only state to pass legislation decriminalizing personal possession of all controlled substances as of August 1, 2022. In November 2020, Oregon voters approved Measure 110, which reclassified personal possession of all controlled substances from a criminal to a civil offense. violation The measure, which came into effect in February 2021, also provided funding to community organizations to provide addiction treatment and harm reduction services.

The data was obtained using a new method of legal mapping — sentinel monitoring of new laws and policies — developed by the Center for Public Health Law Research to more quickly track laws so that researchers can more quickly assess the impact of those laws and policies on health, well-being and equity. .

New attempts by states to decriminalize possession of most controlled substances

Additional information:
Analytical information: … rveillanceSSELP-ver.%202022.pdf

Citation: State Efforts to Decriminalize Possession of Controlled Drugs Stall (2022, September 8) Retrieved September 8, 2022, from

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