Decriminalizing drugs in OregonEditor'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|
|09/01/2020||Nurses United Political Action Committee (12987)||$5,000|
|08/13/2020||Drug Policy Action||$70,000|
|08/10/2020||Oregon AFSCME Council 75||$10,000|
|08/03/2020||Bridges to Change, Inc.||$5,000|
|07/29/2020||Friends of Jeff Cogen (5571)||$1,000|
|07/19/2020||Miscellaneous Cash Contributions $100 and under ||$2,175|
|07/09/2020||Drug Policy Action||$200,000|
|06/08/2020||Drug Policy Action||$225,000|
|05/13/2020||Drug Policy Action||$250,000|
|03/26/2020||Drug Policy Action||$300,000|
|02/27/2020||Drug Policy Action||$300,000|
|02/06/2020||Drug Policy Action||$300,000|
|01/10/2020||Drug Policy Action||$215,000|
|12/09/2019||Drug Policy Action||$215,000|
|Post Date: 2020-10-09 11:42:14||Last Update: 2020-10-02 16:01:23|