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Measure 110
Decriminalizing drugs in Oregon

Editor's note: This is part four of a multi-part series covering the 2020 Oregon General Election ballot measures.

Issues of public safety, law enforcement and police procedure have become big issues lately. Police shootings and subsequent riots have driven these issues the to forefront, and Ballot Measure 110 is just one battle in this war.

This measure decriminalizes many drug offenses and diverts marijuana tax money to treatment programs. Unlike Measure 90 in 2016, Measure 110 doesn't provide any legal or tax structure for the drugs it decriminalizes.

While the measure purports to reduce the number of drug-related incarcerations, in 2019 the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission published a report on the success of House Bill 2355, showing a marked reduction in misdemeanor drug possession convictions and racial disparity in arrests. Fewer convictions is the result of the new law diverting offenders. The argument for reducing drug-related incarcerations is becoming weaker and weaker.

Opponents of this issue also point out that far from being unkind, consequences of drug use are needed to help addicts to seek help. This initiative has been almost completely funded by a national organization Drug Policy Action which is the advocacy and political arm of the Drug Policy Alliance. This organization shows concern for overdoses and incarceration, though it can be seen as a part of the wider anti-law enforcement movement nationally. They pumped in about $2 million dollars of out-of-state money to put this initiative on the ballot. About $80,000 was left and that was turned over to More Treatment for a Better Oregon: Yes on 110 committee. Over half of that was spent on voters pamphlet statements.

On their website, they describe themselves as "A nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization, Drug Policy Action undertakes a wide range of activities including political advocacy permitted by 501(c)(4) organizations." They say that they "work to pass new drug laws and policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights -- and to elect candidates at every level who support these principles."

Interestingly, $1,000 was donated by disgraced former Multnomah County Commission Chair Jeff Cogen out of his campaign account. Readers might remember that Cogen was driven from office in a scandal that included his alleged use of illegal drugs.

This is the official title for the measure, as provided by the Attorney General, as it will appear on the ballot:

Provides statewide addiction/recovery services; marijuana taxes partially finance;
reclassifies possession/penalties for specified drugs

Result of “Yes” Vote: “Yes” vote provides addiction recovery centers/services; marijuana taxes partially finance (reduces revenues for other purposes); reclassifies possession of specified drugs, reduces penalties; requires audits.

Result of “No” Vote: “No” vote rejects requiring addiction recovery centers/services; retains current marijuana tax revenue uses; maintains current classifications/penalties for possession of drugs

Summary: Measure mandates establishment/ funding of “addiction recovery centers” (centers) within each existing coordinated care organization service area by October 1, 2021; centers provide drug users with triage, health assessments, treatment, recovery services. To fund centers, measure dedicates all marijuana tax revenue above $11,250,000 quarterly, legislative appropriations, and any savings from reductions in arrests, incarceration, supervision resulting from the measure. Reduces marijuana tax revenue for other uses. Measure reclassifies personal non-commercial possession of certain drugs under specified amount from misdemeanor or felony (depending on person’s criminal history) to Class E violation subject to either $100 fine or a completed health assessment by center. Oregon Health Authority establishes council to distribute funds/ oversee implementation of centers. Secretary of State audits biennially. Other provisions.

Major donations to More Treatment for a Better Oregon: Yes on 110
DateDonorAmount
09/01/2020Nurses United Political Action Committee (12987)$5,000
08/13/2020Drug Policy Action$70,000
08/10/2020Oregon AFSCME Council 75$10,000
08/03/2020Bridges to Change, Inc.$5,000
08/02/2020Ben Wood$1,000
07/29/2020Friends of Jeff Cogen (5571)$1,000
07/19/2020Miscellaneous Cash Contributions $100 and under $2,175
07/12/2020Charles Swindells$1,000
07/12/2020Kenneth Thrasher$1,000
07/12/2020Robert Quillin$1,000
07/12/2020Robert Quillin$4,000
07/09/2020Drug Policy Action$200,000
06/21/2020Thomas Imeson$1,000
06/21/2020Susan Mandiberg$1,000
06/21/2020Richard Harris$1,000
06/08/2020Drug Policy Action$225,000
05/13/2020Drug Policy Action$250,000
03/26/2020Drug Policy Action$300,000
02/27/2020Drug Policy Action$300,000
02/23/2020David Menschel$1,000
02/06/2020Drug Policy Action$300,000
01/10/2020Drug Policy Action$215,000
12/09/2019Drug Policy Action$215,000

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-09 11:42:14Last Update: 2020-10-02 16:01:23



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