“The epiphany came in 2009, as Hubert Matthews prepared to spend another night on Portland’s streets.
“For two decades he had been using drugs, then committing crimes to get more. He wanted out, but he saw no easy escape. His frequent use made him an easy target for police, leaving him a homeless, middle-aged man trapped by his addiction and the laws he broke to feed it.
“Matthews, who is now a recovering addict and a drug abuse counselor, believes others will have an easier path after Oregon voters approved a controversial ballot measure decriminalizing possession of small amounts of so-called hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamines.
“Measure 110 also applies marijuana sales taxes toward payments for drug addiction treatment. Marijuana has been legal in Oregon since 2015.”
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