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Why Oregon Police Favor "De-Felonizing" Some Drugs

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Headlines in other parts of the country keep saying Oregon has "decriminalized" some drug offenses. 

That is not quite the case, but it is true that the legislature recently voted to turn some drug possession felonies into misdemeanors. 

Two reasons: 1) reduce pressure on prisons; 2) offer drug treatment instead of time behind bars. 

The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police supports the change (up to a point), along with other law enforcement groups.  Kris Allison is chief of police in Central Point and vice president of the chiefs association. 

Phil Bettin is the programs officer at the Addictions Recovery Center in Medford.They visit the studio with details of how the law will be implemented. 

 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and marked his tenth anniversary as the full-time host of the Jefferson Exchange at the end of 2019. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for 35 years, working in both television and radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.