Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

OR Drug Decriminalization Law Goes Into Effect


Monday, February 1, 2021   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- One of the country's biggest rollbacks of restrictive drug laws goes into effect today in Oregon.

In November, voters passed a measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs, making it the first state in the country to do so.

Tera Hurst, executive director for the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance, said possession will go from a misdemeanor to a citation, and on that citation will be a number to call for recovery help.

"The options will be to pay a $100 fine or call a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week phone line and talk to a peer-support specialist and get a social-services needs screening done," Hurst outlined.

Hurst said they then can be connected to someone in their community.

Services for treatment options are funded through a portion of marijuana tax revenue.

Critics of the new law said it's flawed and are particularly concerned with how it will play out for youths, since there is no language on whether their parents should be notified.

The law's oversight and accountability council is forming today as well.

Hurst explained it will determine rules for the new law and also where grants and money are disbursed.

"[The council will] really focus on communities most harmed by the war on drugs," Hurst shared. "So in Oregon that's Black, indigenous, native, tribal and Latinx communities, and then people with lived experience, incarcerated for drug use and people in recovery."

Hurst noted a lot of states are interested in what happens with Oregon's decriminalization law.

"You needed somebody to jump in the pool," Hurst remarked. "And now I think people are watching to see how it goes but also really excited by the momentum that this created."

get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021