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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



Measure 109
Legalizing Medical Mushrooms

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

After spending the eye-popping sum of nearly $1.5 million dollars to place this measure on the ballot New Approach PAC will present Measure 109 to the voters. That's over $13 per required signature and one almost can't help but wonder if so much has to be spent per signature, maybe it's not going to be all that popular.

New Approach PAC is a Washington, DC based, super-PAC that has it's sights set on drug legalization on a state-by-state basis. In the wake of Measure 90 in 2014, it's almost as if national drug-legalization efforts have their sights set on Oregon as a semi-willing victim. The basic proposal is to legalize psilocybic mushrooms for medical use. Research has shown that they may have some efficacy for treating PTSD, drug abuse and other disorders.

Despite the dubious record of the cumbersome process for drug approval under the onerous shadow of "big pharma," one wonders if the initiative process is any better of a way to approve medicine. The lesson here might be that if you establish too excessive of a regulatory bureaucracy, one way or the other, we the people will prevail and get our way.

Oregon is proud of the fact that it is the first in many policy areas. Voters may not wish to make Oregon the first state to legalize "magic mushrooms." Other drugs have testing, known potency, accepted dosages and we already have dispensaries called drugstores. Voter approved pharmaceuticals bypass some of the structures we have to reduce problems.

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

Allows manufacture, delivery, administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities;
imposes two-year development period

Result of “Yes” Vote: Allows manufacture, delivery, administration of psilocybin (psychoactive mushroom) at supervised, licensed facilities; imposes two-year development period. Creates enforcement/taxation system, advisory board, administration fund.

Result of “No” Vote: “No” vote retains current law, which prohibits manufacture, delivery, and possession of psilocybin and imposes misdemeanor or felony criminal penalties.

Summary: Currently, federal and state laws prohibit the manufacture, delivery, and possession of psilocybin (psychoactive mushroom). Initiative amends state law to require Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to establish Oregon Psilocybin Services Program to allow licensed/regulated production, processing, delivery, possession of psilocybin exclusively for administration of “psilocybin services” (defined) by licensed “facilitator” (defined) to “qualified client” (defined). Grants OHA authority to implement, administer, and enforce program. Imposes two-year development period before implementation of program. Establishes fund for program administration and governor-appointed advisory board that must initially include one measure sponsor; members are compensated. Imposes packaging, labeling, and dosage requirements. Requires sales tax for retail psilocybin. Preempts local laws inconsistent with program except “reasonable regulations” (defined). Exempts licensed/regulated activities from criminal penalties. Other provisions.

Major donations to Yes for Psilocybin Therapy
DateDonorAmount
08/19/2020New Approach PAC$300,000
08/14/2020Timothy Kutscha$20,000
08/09/2020Brandon Pollock$1,000
07/29/2020New Leaf Brands$20,000


Major donations to PSI 2020
DateDonorAmount
09/04/2020Yes for Psilocybin Therapy (20657)$45,000
07/17/2020Adam Wiggins$20,000
07/15/2020Adam Wiggins$25,000
07/09/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$40,000
06/30/2020David Menschel$1,000
06/19/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$80,000
06/15/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$65,000
06/09/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$40,000
06/03/2020John Gilmore$9,981
05/22/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$80,000
05/11/2020Sasha Cajkovich$10,000
05/10/2020Ron Beller$9,952
05/10/2020Mark Farr$1,738
04/19/2020Robert Faust$1,000
04/19/2020Jeffrey Zucker$2,500
04/15/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$60,000
04/12/2020Megan Frost$1,000
04/12/2020Timothy Kutscha$2,000
03/24/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$50,000
03/17/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$50,000
03/15/2020Robert Hanson$1,000
03/13/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$50,000
03/06/2020Benjamin Halper$1,000
03/06/2020Kristyn Judkins$2,500
03/06/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$50,000
03/03/2020Adam Wiggins$15,000
02/25/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$50,000
02/07/2020Field Trip Psychedelics Inc$10,000
01/21/2020New Approach PAC - 527 organization$225,000
12/20/2019New Approach PAC - 527 organization$150,000
11/19/2019New Approach PAC - 527 organization$100,000
10/18/2019New Approach PAC - 527 organization$10,000
08/14/2019PSI 2020 (19606)$58,372

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-08 11:42:14Last Update: 2020-10-02 16:01:08



Measure 108
More taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes

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

By far, the most expensive ballot measure this cycle will be Measure 108 which was referred to the voters by the legislature from HB 2270. At $13 million, it has remarkably few large contributors. One doesn't have to try hard to envision the healthcare industrial complex taking on the lowly, blue-collar smokers. Since the proceeds of the tax increase go to fund health care for low-income Oregonians, it can be regarded as taxing the poor to pay for their own health care.

One can wonder about the sustainability of funding health care through increased taxes on nicotine. What do we do when it's no longer cool to smoke and revenue declines? If this is such a good idea, why do we need $13 million from the healthcare-industrial complex against virtually no opposition to pass this? Couldn't we have used that $13 million to pay for -- uh, more health care?

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

Increases cigarette and cigar taxes. Establishes tax on e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping devices. Funds health programs.

Result of 'Yes' Vote: 'Yes' vote increases cigarette tax by $2 per pack. Increases cap on cigar taxes to $1 per cigar. Establishes tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products. Funds health programs. Approves other provisions.

Result of 'NO' Vote: 'No' vote retains current law. Cigarettes are taxed at current rate of $1.33 per pack. Tax on cigars is capped at 50 cents per cigar. Nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, remain untaxed.

Summary: Under current law, a tax of $1.33 is imposed on each pack of 20 cigarettes, cigars are taxed at 65 percent of their wholesale price up to a maximum of 50 cents per cigar, and nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, are not taxed. Measure increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack and increases the maximum tax on cigars to $1 per cigar. Measure provide for smaller cigars (sold commonly as "cigarillos") to be taxed like cigarettes. Measure establishes tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping products, at 65 percent of the wholesale price. Tax on nicotine inhalant delivery systems does not apply to approved tobacco cessation products or to marijuana inhalant delivery systems. Revenue from increased and new taxes will be used to fund health care coverage for low-income families, including mental health services, and to fund public health programs, including prevention and cessation programs, addressing tobacco- and nicotine-related diseases.



Major donations to Yes for a Healthy Future
DateDonorAmount
09/09/2020Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems$500,000
07/13/2020American Lung Association$5,000
06/20/2020Adventist Health System$396,580
02/08/2020PacificSource$150,000
01/15/2020American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.$50,000
01/11/2020Sky Lakes Medical Center$352,460
12/30/2019CareOregon$150,000
12/27/2019Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems$500,000
12/02/2019Grande Ronde Hospital$201,400
11/27/2019Trinity Health$93,648
11/27/2019Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics$857,016
11/25/2019Samaritan Health Services$652,560
11/20/2019Kaiser Permanente - KP Financial Svcs$919,908
11/18/2019Legacy Health System CPC, LLC$1,732,048
11/15/2019Trinity Health$169,204
11/14/2019Nurses United Political Action Committee (12987)$200,000
11/14/2019St. Charles Health System$792,368
11/13/2019Providence Health & Services$3,296,948
11/12/2019PeaceHealth$1,056,540
10/28/2019Asante$904,304



--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-07 11:42:14Last Update: 2020-10-02 16:00:52



Measure 107
Measure 107 would limit free speech in Oregon

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

Ballot measure 107 was referred to the Oregon voters by the 2019 legislature. Senate Joint Resolution was sponsored by Senators Tim Knopp (R-Bend), Mark Hass (D-Portland), Jeff Golden (D-Ashland), Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego), and Representatives Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) and Alyssa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland). The resolution is a response to an Oregon Supreme Court decision which allows the state and inferior jurisdictions to enact campaign finance reforms. Ballot Measure 107 merely updates the Oregon Constitution to reflect that possibility. It does not itself enact any limits.

In the State of Oregon Democrats operate a Super-majority legislature, and much of the agenda for the State is set by them. They would now like to further limit the ability of Grassroots Oregonian's to fund raise.

The Democrats have put forth Measure 107 which "Authorizes the state legislature and local governments to (1) enact laws or ordinances limiting campaign contributions and expenditures; (2) require disclosure of contributions and expenditures; and (3) require that political advertisements identify the people or entities that paid for them."

The referring of this free-speech limiting bill to the November ballot has been largely paid for by in-kind Democrat contributions and Big Union money.

Major donations to Yes for Fair and Honest Elections
DateDonorAmount
09/28/2020North Star Action Center$3,000
09/11/2020Team Oregon Victory Fund (19420)$5,000
09/04/2020End Citizen's United $1,200
08/31/2020Alliance for Democracy Portland$1,200
08/17/2020Oregon AFSCME council 75$5,000
08/16/2020Kafoury & McDougal$2,000
08/07/2020Norman Turrill$1,000
08/07/2020End Citizen's United $14,000
07/27/2020Voters' Right to Know$14,000
06/29/2020Team Oregon Victory Fund (19420)$5,000
06/02/2020Honest Elections Oregon$5,000
06/01/2020David Delk$1,000
05/22/2020Kafoury & McDougal$2,500
04/20/2020AFSCME Council 75$10,000
04/12/2020Thomas Keffer$1,000


The above chart of major donors to the Yes on 107 Campaign, highlights a certain irony. This collection of big donors all are advocating for campaign finance limits. No political action committee has yet been established for the No on 107 effort.

For further irony, one of the biggest defender of not having any campaign finance limits was the American Civil Liberties Union. In a Friend of the Court brief the ACLU declares a change of heart.

"The ACLU of Oregon has a particular interest in this case because in recent years, the organization’s understanding of the relationship between campaign finance regulation and the freedom of expression enshrined in both the U.S. and Oregon Constitutions has evolved. This reckoning started in 2011, in the wake of Citizens United. ACLU National came to recognize the multiple, deleterious effects of excessive money in politics – including its negative impact on communities historically excluded from meaningful political participation – and reconsidered its previous absolute opposition to any regulation of campaign finance."


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

Amends Constitution: Allows laws limiting political campaign contributions and expenditures, requiring disclosure of political campaign contributions and expenditures, and requiring political campaign advertisements to identify who paid for them

Result of “Yes” Vote: “Yes” vote allows laws, created by the Legislative Assembly, local governments or voters that limit contributions and expenditures made to influence an election. Allows laws that require disclosure of contributions and expenditures made to influence an election. Allows laws that require campaign or election advertisements to identify who paid for them. Campaign contribution limits cannot prevent effective advocacy. Applies to laws enacted or approved on or after January 1, 2016.

Result of “No” Vote: “No” vote retains current law. Courts currently find the Oregon Constitution does not allow laws limiting campaign expenditures. Laws limiting contributions are allowed if the text of the law does not target expression.

Summary: The Oregon Supreme Court has interpreted the Oregon Constitution to prohibit limits on expenditures made in connection with a political campaign or to influence the outcome of an election. Limits on contributions are allowed if the text of the law does not target expression. The proposed measure amends the Oregon Constitution to allow the Oregon Legislative Assembly, local governments, and the voters by initiative to pass laws that limit contributions and expenditures made in connection with a political campaign and contributions and expenditures made to influence an election. The measure would allow laws that require disclosure of political campaign and election contributions and expenditures. The measure would allow laws that require political campaign and election advertisements to identify who paid for them. Laws limiting campaign contributions cannot prevent effective advocacy. Measure applies to all laws enacted or approved on or after January 1, 2016.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-05 11:42:14Last Update: 2020-10-04 07:51:46



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