04-12-2024  6:32 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Oregon State Capitol
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 01 March 2024

Today, the Oregon House of Representatives passed HB 4002 which addresses the substance abuse and addiction crisis through the creation of an unclassified misdemeanor to direct those suffering from addiction to treatment. In response to this vote, the Oregon Legislative BIPOC Caucus released the following statement: 

“We begin by acknowledging the uncertainties felt by Black, Latine, and Native communities across the state as we explore how to address Oregon’s addiction crisis. These concerns are founded on decades of lived experience with racial profiling and over-policing.  

“We have historically underinvested in culturally specific behavioral health and recovery services. Given the disproportionate impact on communities of color from criminalization, we need to overinvest in the coming years to meaningfully address the addiction crisis. 

“Moving forward, we are committed to closely monitoring the rollout of this bill, particularly with concerns to racial disparities. Given the strong evidence of racial bias in policing and drug enforcement, we are committed to taking appropriate actions if these projections come true.”

HB 4002 mandates the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to track interactions with law enforcement and opportunities for treatment in order to measure the racial impacts of this legislation. Already, the CJC predicted there will be a racial disparity for Black, Latine, and Native Oregonians in conviction and sentencing rates under HB 4002.

HB 4002 passed 51-7 out of the House and is on its way to the Senate floor. 

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