Fetterman praised Oregon for decriminalizing small amounts of hard drugs like meth and heroin in 2020 – Fox News

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DR OZ: ‘John Fetterman’s responses are not to defend his criminal positions, but rather to insult me, usually at a personal level. And, listen, it was fun over the summer, but people are going to vote in ten days on the issues.’
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman applauded Oregon voters in 2020 after they approved a measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of hard drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy.
Fetterman, running in one of the most closely watched Senate races this midterm season, says he does not support decriminalization of hard drugs in Pennsylvania. But in a “Social Justice Power Hour” conversation with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice in November 2020, Fetterman praised the Oregon measure.
“We have a mental health crisis in our country, and you have these pharmaceuticals that have all of these side effects and have all these other externalities,” Fetterman said at the time. “And here, you know, like I applaud Oregon for the step they took this last election, you know, decriminalizing small amounts of drugs, and realizing you can’t arrest your way out of addiction. … If you criminalize addiction, you have what we have, and that is one of the core tenants of mass incarceration.”
Measure 110, which was approved by voters in Oregon Nov. 3, 2020, took effect in February 2021 and decriminalized small amounts of hard drugs, including psilocybin and psilocin, LSD, methadone, oxycodone, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine.
OREGON’S DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION EFFORT A ‘TRAGEDY’
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at Temple University in Philadelphia Oct. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ryan Collerd)
The measure reclassified possession of small amounts of hard drugs as a civil violation. Offenders face a $100 fine, which they can avoid with a “health assessment” — a 24/7 phone service that will help determine what services an individual might need. Small amounts are classified as less than 1 gram of heroin or MDMA, 2 grams of cocaine or methamphetamine, 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone.
Voters passed the measure with strong support from more than 100 organizations, including the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon School Psychologists’ Association, Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, the ACLU and others.
DR. OZ SLAMS FETTERMAN OVER ‘SHAMEFUL’ DEMOCRAT POLICIES FUELING CRIME, DRUG USE AND HOMELESSNESS
The implementation of the measure led to concern among some individuals about the potential for a rise in drug abuse and drug deaths in Oregon. In July, the Oregon Health Authority said drug overdoses in the state had “more than doubled between 2019 and 2021, with the increase driven largely by misuse of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.”
Pennsylvania has also had a problem dealing with drug-related issues in the state and overdose deaths from drugs that have been laced with fentanyl.
A small bag of straight fentanyl on display at the state crime lab at the Ohio Attorney General’s headquarters of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Sept. 16, 2015, in London, Ohio. (Ty Wright for/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
According to data reported by the Pennsylvania Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention, 78% of all the state’s drug overdose deaths in 2021 were fentanyl related. CDC data shows synthetic opioid deaths, primarily from fentanyl, have increased dramatically across the country, and the drug has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans since 2015.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Joe Calvello, a Fetterman campaign spokesperson, insisted that the Democrat seeking office “does not support” the decriminalization of hard drugs in the Keystone State.
“John is an outspoken advocate for weed legalization and has always believed we should not be criminalizing addiction, but he does not support decriminalizing all drugs including heroin, methamphetamines and other hard drugs in Pennsylvania,” Calvello said. “John believes we need to make sure we are locking up drug dealers who are pushing and profiting from hard drugs, while making sure that people get real help if they are addicted.”
Despite the Fetterman campaign’s claim, Fetterman, in 2015, declared that he favors decriminalizing drugs “across the board” and noted that he sees it as “a public health issue, not a criminal issue.”
Fetterman, left, and Oz, right, will go head-to-head in the Pennsylvania Senate election Nov. 8. (Mark Makela, Nate Smallwood/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
In an effort to wrangle drug addiction in America, Fetterman has also said he supports “safe injection sites.”
“I support safe injection sites,” Fetterman said during a 2018 AL DÍA forum. “We need as many comprehensive solutions to this scourge as we possibly can. We can’t arrest our way out of it.”
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Fetterman will face off against his Republican challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in the state’s Nov. 8 midterm election.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this article.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.
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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2022 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

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