Measure 110 would decriminalize the possession of lethal, addictive drugs—up to 1 gram of heroin, 2 grams of meth, 2 grams of cocaine, 12 grams of psilocybin, 40 user units of oxycodone, 40 user units of methadone, 40 user units of LSD, and 5 user units of MDMA—for children, teens, and adults in Oregon. All in the midst of our addiction crisis.
Measure 110 would also defund existing addiction treatment, take $90 million from schools over the next three years alone, redirect the money to health screenings with no promise of treatment, disconnect courts from directing people into treatment, and fine juveniles like adults while removing the only path for parents to get their kids into treatment if they’re under 18.
Oregon’s addiction rate is 3rd highest in the nation—more than 400,000 Oregonians are struggling daily to cope with addiction. Yet Oregon ranks near last (47th) in the nation in access to addiction treatment. Measure 110 does nothing to change that, and will only make our addiction crisis worse.
Measure 110 is dangerous for children and youth, and a nightmare for parents.
Measure 110 effectively legalizes the possession of dangerous drugs—including heroin, meth, cocaine, and oxycodone—for Oregon’s young people. Because decriminalizing drugs for adults also decriminalizes drugs for kids.
The measure would make it so a 15-year-old can get caught with a pocket full of meth, and the only consequences would be they either have to pay a $100 fine or get a health assessment. They can hide either from their parents.
Measure 110 would dismantle the only pathway to recovery for many Oregon youth, without a proven alternative in place. Right now, juvenile court is the only pathway to trained addiction counselors, culturally specific recovery resources, and high-quality inpatient and outpatient treatment for many minors struggling with addiction in Oregon. These are lifesaving services that many teens and their families otherwise could never afford.
Not knowing your child is using drugs—or being powerless to help them if you do know—can be the beginning of a nightmare for parents. Too many Oregon parents know the pain of watching their child struggle with addiction. For many, their last hope after everything else has failed is that their child will get treatment through our juvenile court system.
Measure 110 would not create a single new treatment bed.
Measure 110 does not require the creation of any additional treatment beds. All it requires is the creation of 16 centers that provide screenings and referrals, not treatment. Oregon doesn’t have a shortage of health assessment and referral centers. We have a shortage of residential treatment beds.
Referrals are not treatment. Screenings are not access.
If Measure 110 were truly about more treatment, it would have set clear targets for more real treatment, like more sobering centers and detox facilities, more residential treatment beds, more outpatient care, and more certified drug and alcohol counselors for parents, youth, and adults.
If there is any money left over after creating and staffing the 16 unnecessary referral centers, Measure 110 does not require that it go to actual treatment services. Funds go to the Oregon Health Authority and are distributed by 18 volunteers without any goals or outcomes required. Funds can go to things like peer support, housing, and outreach—which are important, but they’re not treatment.
Measure 110 will cost lives by taking away $56 million in addiction treatment, prevention, and intervention services. It also takes $90 million from schools.
Already, every day one Oregonian dies from a drug overdose while five die from alcohol-related causes. And in the pandemic, we’re seeing substance use soar.
Measure 110 does not add one penny of revenue to the state’s budget. Instead, over the next three years, it takes away $45 million from cities’ and counties’ mental health and addiction services. It takes away $11 million from the alcohol and drug abuse prevention and intervention that can help stop people—especially youth—from becoming addicted in the first place. It also takes $90 million from the State School Fund. This money would instead go to the referral centers Oregon doesn’t need.
Without prevention, people can become addicted.
Without intervention, people don’t go into treatment.
Without treatment, some people overdose and die.
The deadly impact of Measure 110 will be that some Oregonians will lose loved ones to addiction.
Measure 110 will cost lives by taking away key pathways to addiction treatment and recovery.
Since 2017, every person arrested for possession of drugs in Oregon is offered state-funded treatment. For many—especially low- and middle-income Oregonians—this is the only way they can access high quality, lifesaving treatment. Many people in recovery say these court diversion programs “saved my life” or “rescued me from myself.”
Measure 110 would take that away—without creating any new pathways to treatment.
Of course addiction recovery belongs under our public health system, not our criminal justice system. But our public health system is not equipped to handle it yet, and Measure 110 does nothing to change that. It shuts one door without opening another. And closing pathways to treatment during an addiction epidemic will lead to a spike in overdoses and alcohol-related deaths.
Measure 110 was written and funded by outsiders playing politics with Oregonian’s lives.
The absence of concrete treatment and recovery outcomes in Measure 110—and its failure to align with the state’s new Addiction Recovery Strategic Plan—lays bare that its sponsor’s main objective is to notch a win, not the larger challenge of ending Oregon’s addiction crisis.
Ballot Measure 110 is funded by New York’s Drug Policy Alliance, which is trying to buy the passage of this ballot measure in Oregon. The only interest the Drug Policy Alliance has in Measure 110 is decriminalization. The Drug Policy Alliance doesn’t care about our youth, our loved ones struggling with addiction, or increasing real treatment. For these outsiders, Oregon is an experiment to see if they can succeed in getting people to vote to decriminalize hard drugs, which they would then take to other states. The Drug Policy Alliance wrote Measure 110 without consulting leaders in Oregon’s treatment and recovery communities.
We are heartbroken that Oregon’s recovery community and our partners have been unnecessarily divided by advocates from New York. We look forward to collaborating with Oregonians who care about our addiction epidemic to meaningfully address this crisis during the upcoming legislative session.
Measure 110 doesn’t clear past drug convictions, and has no equity requirements or accountability measures.
Measure 110 would not release anyone currently incarcerated for drug possession, nor expunge the records of those with convictions. It claims to be about decriminalization, but does absolutely nothing to remove barriers to housing, employment, and education for people who already have drug convictions.
Measure 110 takes funding away from existing, effective, culturally specific county treatment programs and transfers it to a newly formed group of 18 volunteers who are not required to achieve any equity-focused or culturally specific outcomes. This independent body is accountable to no one and does not have an evidenced-based plan to address Oregon’s addiction crisis.