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Drug Possession Is Now A Misdemeanor In Oregon

This Wednesday, June 7, 2017, photo shows hypodermic needles that were recovered from the Merrimack River in 2016, at the Clean River Facility facility in Methuen, Massachusetts.

A bill signed by Oregon's governor has reclassified personal-use possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs as a misdemeanor from a felony.

Among its supporters are the police and sheriffs' associations, which said felony convictions include unintended consequences, including barriers to housing and employment.

The bill signed Tuesday morning by Gov. Kate Brown also directs a state commission to develop methods for recording data concerning police-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops.

This is aimed at ensuring police aren't stopping people based on racial or other profiling.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting.