In early addiction recovery and beyond, individuals are advised to avoid all mind-altering substances—including legal drugs. In recent years, many states have voted in favor of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, even though the drug has no accepted medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse.
In total, 15 states have legalized recreational marijuana; four states passed recreational marijuana legalization measures earlier this month. While ending cannabis prohibition may be a step in the right direction criminal justice-wise, people in recovery need to remember that legal does not mean safe.
Many relapses have come about from thinking that marijuana will not lead to a return to drinking or using other drugs. If you are determined to keep your recovery intact, then please continue avoiding any substance that has the potential for abuse.
Legalizing Drug Use
On November 3, 2020, a number of states passed marijuana-related measures. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota voters approved the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, USA Today reports. Both South Dakota and Mississippi passed medical marijuana initiatives; such legislation has now been passed in a total of 36 states.
Oregon took legalizing drug use a couple of steps forward. Having passed recreational marijuana use legislation some years back, now it’s legal to possess small amounts of more harmful drugs.
Oregon voters approved Measure 110, making it the first state to eliminate criminal penalties for cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine possession. Measure 110 expands addiction services using the state’s marijuana tax revenue. Those found in possession of such drugs will be given a $100 fine, which would be waived if the offender seeks an assessment from an addiction recovery center.
I think Oregonians made it clear that they support a more humane, effective approach to drug addiction,” said Anthony Johnson, one of the measure’s chief petitioners. “We took a huge step for funding more treatment and recovery services, and for ending racist drug war policies.”
Naturally, opponents of Measure 110 contend that the initiative goes too far. They fear it will lead to increased drug use, especially among young people. The bill’s opponents argue that it could also lead to more overdoses.
Expanding Addiction Recovery Centers
One of the essential facets of Measure 110 is the reallocating of funds to expand or strengthen addiction recovery centers throughout the state, according to the article. The measure directs the Oregon Health Authority to redistribute marijuana tax revenue to funding for addiction treatment and recovery services.
The Oregon Secretary of State’s office says the funds will also be used to expand evidence-based and trauma-informed treatment services. What’s more, the marijuana tax revenue will go towards providing housing for individuals with substance use disorders and overdose prevention education.
”It’s clear that the current approach of arresting and jailing people for their drug addiction has failed, and that people realized that Measure 110 was ultimately about people, not drugs,” said Johnson. He adds:
It’s about what do you want for your loved ones. Do you want them arrested, jailed and saddled with a criminal record? Or do you want them provided recovery services.”
Addiction Recovery Services for Men
It will be interesting to see how Measure 110 plays out in Oregon. Doing away with criminalizing drug use could result in more individuals seeking assistance rather than keeping their problems a secret. Most Americans agree that non-violent drug offenders do not belong behind bars. In the near future, we could see other states following Oregon’s lead on drug use.
Millions of men and women working programs of recovery are proof that there is another way of life. If you are an adult male struggling with drug or alcohol use, we invite you to contact PACE Recovery Center. We offer evidence-based, gender-specific treatment services to help men turn their lives around.
Our team specializes in the treatment of mental illness as well. If your problem is something other than drugs or alcohol, please do not hesitate to reach out for support.