Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, hailed Oregon’s passage of a 2020 ballot measure that decriminalized hard drugs, including heroin.
Ballot Measure 110 passed with the support of 58 percent of voters and decriminalized the possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, and other hard drugs. Possession of one of these drugs in smaller amounts results in a $100 ticket for offenders, who also have the option of a health assessment at a recovery center instead of the fine.
The measure took effect on February 1, 2021, and overdose deaths subsequently “hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069,” as Fox News’s Dan Springer reported earlier this year, emphasizing that it was “a 41% increase from 2020.”
A video recently unearthed by Fox News Digital shows Fetterman lauding Oregonians for decriminalizing the drugs weeks after the measure’s passage in November 2020. His comments came during a Facebook live session with Robert Seda-Schreiber, the Chief Activist of Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. Fetterman said:
I applaud Oregon for the step they took this last election, you know, decriminalizing small amounts of drugs and realizing that you can’t arrest your way out of addiction. And if you criminalize addiction, you have what we have, and that is one of the core tenants of mass incarceration.
In a statement to Fox News, Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Cavello said:
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. 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.
Contrary to what the Fetterman campaign now says, the Democrat previously stated in 2018 that he supports “decriminalization across the board,” as Breitbart News reported.
“I’m pro legalizing marijuana, but I go even further than some of my colleagues because I’m for decriminalizing across the board. I see it as a public-health issue, not a criminal issue,” Fetterman stated. “I’ve seen firsthand for the last 14 years the effects it has on families, I’ve seen people overdosing.”
Fetterman also said lawmakers should consider “safe injection sites.”