A man whom police discovered passed out in the Oregon City area thought he could skate with only a “legal amount” of methamphetamine in his pocket — except he was also found in possession of a stolen vehicle.
The suspect was found unconscious and in possession of a torch-style lighter and pipe, along with the meth, which he described to a Clackamas County deputy as “a legal amount.”
There is no “legal amount” of methamphetamine in Oregon, but a voter-approved ballot measure that took effect this week did indeed decriminalize possession of less than 2 grams of meth, along with small amounts of heroin, LSD, oxycodone and other hard drugs.
Possession is still illegal, but the measure changed how the state’s criminal justice handles those whose only crime is using or possessing street drugs.
Instead of going to trial and facing possible jail time, offenders will be assessed a misdemeanor and a $100 fine. As an incentive to seek treatment, violators could avoid that fine by agreeing to a health assessment.
As part of the new law, the Oregon Health Authority is also providing new resources and treatment options, funded in part by the state’s cannabis tax revenue.
Unfortunately for this suspect, Measure 110 made no such landmark roll-backs for the crime of stealing vehicles.
The vehicle was returned to its owner, and the suspect went to jail, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.