Measure to expand drug treatment and decriminalization makes Oregon ballot

The 'Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act' would expand access to drug addiction treatment while reducing criminal penalties for possession of drugs in small amounts.

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 2:22 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2020 2:30 PM

SALEM, Ore. — An initiative that seeks to expand access to drug addiction treatment programs while decriminalizing some drug offenses has qualified for Oregon's ballot in November.

"The Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act," certified as Ballot Measure 110, proposes to fund wider drug addiction and recovery services, paid for with taxes from legal cannabis sales.

"About one in 10 adults in Oregon need treatment for substance use disorder but have not received it, according to the federal government​," supporters of the measure said in a statement. "Measure 110 does not legalize drugs. Rather, it decriminalizes small amounts of drug possession as part of a shift to a health-based approach to addiction."

If passed, Measure 110 would refer people with minor drug possession offenses to treatment and recovery programs or other resources instead of jail sentences. This wouldn't apply to drug trafficking crimes, driving under the influence, or theft charges.

​About 8,900 people in Oregon are arrested every year in cases where drugs are the most serious offense — the equivalent of one arrest every hour — supporters said, citing a study from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The same study found racial and ethnic disparities among these kinds of arrests and convictions.

The chief petitioners of the "Yes on 110" campaign are Janie Gullickson, executive director of the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon; Haven Wheelock, a harm reduction specialist at OutsideIn; and Anthony Johnson, a longtime drug reform advocate who was a leader of the Measure 91 campaign to legalize marijuana.

Supporters said that the campaign does not currently face organized opposition.

“But what we are up against are the stereotypes and misinformation from the War on Drugs,” said campaign manager Peter Zuckerman, “so we are going to fight for every vote and make our case to as many people as possible.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 314841

Reported Deaths: 3624
CountyCasesDeaths
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Washington35086277
Marion32748396
Clackamas26680275
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Umatilla12736125
Douglas10795188
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Yamhill752099
Klamath651892
Polk629171
Malheur485567
Benton463728
Coos420669
Columbia325439
Jefferson315347
Lincoln277930
Union274838
Wasco242339
Crook213639
Clatsop213225
Tillamook182023
Baker176123
Morrow168621
Curry167817
Hood River163435
Harney82319
Grant7848
Lake6988
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

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Los Angeles144634825870
Riverside3583834802
San Diego3502674021
San Bernardino3475745507
Orange3150815355
Sacramento1507202105
Santa Clara1407321841
Kern1362881521
Fresno1361631889
Alameda1164051330
Ventura978991120
San Joaquin975341615
Contra Costa95858924
Stanislaus808921235
Tulare73111896
San Mateo52311607
San Francisco52008605
Monterey49485565
Solano44247312
Santa Barbara43189500
Sonoma39476378
Merced39446536
Placer36612364
Imperial34285755
Kings30179285
San Luis Obispo28351313
Madera21749263
Butte21379231
Shasta20763279
Santa Cruz20176211
Yolo19192239
Marin17127242
El Dorado16037127
Sutter13122153
Napa1228795
Yuba928061
Nevada850185
Humboldt831988
Tehama827784
San Benito709567
Mendocino691176
Lassen637927
Tuolumne616993
Lake605887
Amador493059
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Siskiyou391541
Calaveras342766
Del Norte339034
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Mono14935
Plumas12406
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Modoc6278
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