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(Salem, OR)  --  The state of Oregon now considers drug possession for personal use a misdemeanor, not a felony.  The bill signed yesterday by Governor Kate Brown immediately reclassifies the possession of drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  Lawmakers hope it will unclog the courts and prisons of first-time offenders and encourage drug abusers to get help.  State Senator Jackie Winters said the state "can't continue on the path of building more prisons when often the underlying root cause of the crime is substance use."
 

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