Reaction to Measure 110

Oregon advocacy groups and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office are speaking out on Measure 110, which went into effect today.

Posted: Feb 1, 2021 6:16 PM

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- Oregon advocacy groups and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office are speaking out on Measure 110, which went into effect today.

Oregon voters passed Measure 110 last November, making the state the first to decriminalize small amounts of drug possession.

Measure 110 focuses on a health-based, treatment-over-punishment approach to dealing with drug possession, and will allow people to pay a fine or have it waived by participating in an addiction recovery program. Those treatment centers will be funded by revenue from legalized marijuana.

Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler says they want to be good partners with l treatment providers and mental health professionals. However, he's worried about the availability of treatment.

“Oregon already struggles with the availability of treatments compared to the rest of the nation, and now we're potentially, you know, opening the door for more people to use or abuse, drugs, and move into our region," Sickler said.

Another concern is that people might try to take advantage of the law, which creates more problems rather than solutions.

“Our biggest thing that we see associated with drug use and addiction is property crime and violent crime,” Sickler said. "People who are addicted, who have issues, they are going to seek Oregon out as an area that will be more friendly to them in their habit than other places."

Selling and manufacturing drugs remains illegal, and Sickler says the county’s drug teams will be busy watching out for perpetrators.

Sickler says their first priority is keeping the community safe.

“We're working as a group, our criminal justice system is going to work together as we always do on all issues to try to find the best way to keep our community safe," Sickler said.

The Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance has a different view on Measure 110, and say the law will tackle the stigma around addiction and substance use.

Executive director Tera Hurst says that being able to switch from a criminal repsonse to health response is transformational.

She says the war on drugs has especially impacted communities of color, and the decriminalization of small possessions of drugs will decrease the over-representation for those communities by 94%.

“That's a huge piece of why this measure is so critical," Hurst said. "You know, what these arrests do to people on the ground is really create barriers for housing and jobs. And then not to mention the stigma that really goes over that. We're talking about health care and we're talking about the realities are that addiction and substance use is usually linked to a health crisis, not a criminal crisis.”

Hurst says throwing people in jail isn’t the solution.

"We're trying to change a system that is incredibly broken, and so there's always going to be concerns," Hurst said. "I think that that's natural and that's okay. The problem was stoking and fanning flames. As we've seen, especially over the last few years, is that people then all of a sudden start living in fear."

She says the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance remains committed to making sure people have the providers they need.

"It's our job to relate and tell the story of what's been happening, why it hasn't been working and how we want to see this move forward. We want to make sure that the communities most impacted by the war on drugs are really seeing the investments and the benefits and just trying to work through the trauma that has really been imposed on these communities," Hurst said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 207333

Reported Deaths: 2759
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40422614
Washington26826249
Marion23473324
Clackamas18967235
Lane13934165
Jackson11566146
Deschutes1004182
Umatilla861687
Linn563681
Yamhill478979
Klamath477878
Polk401356
Douglas390683
Josephine362372
Malheur362163
Benton327322
Jefferson237539
Coos217537
Columbia192629
Union150224
Wasco145530
Lincoln143721
Crook129423
Hood River121833
Morrow115716
Clatsop10609
Baker103015
Curry72511
Tillamook6604
Grant5527
Lake4688
Harney4359
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

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Cases: 3811723

Reported Deaths: 63424
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Los Angeles124816124461
Riverside3017994627
San Bernardino2993724873
San Diego2819363777
Orange2731285114
Santa Clara1201942193
Kern1108471405
Sacramento1079131737
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Alameda898191280
Ventura817271032
San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70818813
Stanislaus635581070
Tulare49808850
Monterey43842432
San Mateo42725581
San Francisco37287556
Santa Barbara34624455
Solano33797267
Merced32317481
Sonoma30974317
Imperial28880741
Placer23633300
Kings23209247
San Luis Obispo21448261
Madera16652245
Santa Cruz16246209
Marin14207230
Yolo14157212
Butte12662198
Shasta12616235
El Dorado10415117
Napa1002980
Sutter9672113
Yuba651951
San Benito611163
Lassen579925
Tehama573963
Nevada493275
Humboldt451449
Mendocino435150
Tuolumne421971
Amador374347
Lake356445
Glenn243527
Siskiyou239837
Colusa228818
Calaveras220956
Del Norte14658
Inyo143438
Mono12984
Plumas7376
Modoc5635
Mariposa4657
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