Three years ago, Democrat lawmakers in Oregon pushed through Measure 110, which decriminalized the possession of “small amounts of illicit drugs,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Today, lawmakers are asking Gov. Tina Kotek to call a “special session” to address Oregon’s drug crisis and repeal the Measure.
Republican legislatures, led by state Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, are leading the push for Oregon to forge a new path forward.
Knopp has been joined by state Sen. David Brock Smith (R), who released the following statement:
“Measure 110 has failed Oregonians and the overwhelming majority want change.”
Smith added: “The decriminalization of drug possession, the lack of incarceration and forced treatment has caused a dramatic increase in drug use and addiction, increased homelessness, open drug use in our communities and increases in overall property and other crimes. Measure 110 has ultimately compromised the safety of our residents by reducing the deterrent effect of law enforcement, taking away their ability to arrest.”
Notably, Kotek has yet to respond to calls to convene a special session.
In 2020, Oregon voters passed the Democrat-crafted Measure 110, which reduced penalties from a felony or misdemeanor to a $100 maximum fine and eliminated all criminal charges for possessing small amounts of drugs.
Oregon State Senate Republicans “are committed to fixing this now, not in 3 months,” Smith’s statement added. His letter was signed by 11 Republican state senators and one Independent.
Rachael Banks, Public Health Director at the Oregon Health Authority testified that “on average, 3 Oregonians die each day from an unintended drug overdose … [and that overall] overdoses rose 61% and fentanyl overdoses rose nearly 600%.”
Proponents of Measure 110 cite a recent New York University Grossman School of Medicine study that surveyed 13 states that adopted similar drug decriminalization policies to Oregon and found “no evidence connecting fatal drug overdose rates to decriminalization.”
However, a recent survey of Oregon residents believes there is a connection between the adoption of Measure 110 and the spike in drug activity. The summer survey by Emerson College Polling found that 56% of residents want to repeal Measure 110.
Some concerned citizens report that funds are being diverted from essential services to address the problems related to the Measure.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.