Oregon DA blames spike in crime on decriminalization of hard drugs: ‘It’s a false promise’

(Video Credit: Fox News)

The District Attorney for the area surrounding Portland, Oregon lamented the state’s recently implemented drug decriminalization law as a “Trojan Horse.”

“Well-intentioned voters thought they were voting for one thing: treatment and help,” Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton told the host of “Fox and Friends Weekend” on Saturday.

“But really what was behind that was an effort to decriminalize drug possession – meth, heroin, hard drugs – the types of drugs that are driving out-of-control property crime and violent crime now in Oregon,” he explained.

“It’s a false promise,” Barton asserted. “And unfortunately, it’s the tragic result that so many of us predicted would happen but hoped that wouldn’t.”

The attorney described the fallout from the roughly 60 percent of Oregon voters that were in favor of the bill in the November 2020 election that limited penalties for possession of “non-commercial” amounts of drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.

“So what we’ve seen is we’ve seen property crime dramatically rising, things like car theft, car break-ins, catalytic converter theft around the entire state. But especially in the Portland area,” said Barton who was elected in 2018 after a career as a prosecutor.

“We’ve seen violent crime increasing in Portland and spilling over into surrounding communities like my own community, where I am, I’m the district attorney of the county that essentially borders all of Portland,” he noted.

He cited the other unintended consequences of the bill meant to help addicts that only appear to be having the opposite effect.

“And we’ve seen other things, too. Overdose deaths spiking the use of Narcan, which police and other first responders use to try and counteract an overdose that’s gone up, tripled in the county where I am outside of Portland,” Barton said.

But he explained that the impacts weren’t just to the addicts themselves but small children were being negatively impacted by the new law as well.

“And even children who have been exposed to drugs, and we found children, toddlers, babies with meth and heroin in their system,” he said sadly.

There was little shock or sympathy on social media over the highly predicted outcome of revised drug laws with many people noting that it was self-inflicted pain.

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