A coalition of advocates has put forth a blueprint for significant changes to Measure 110, the ballot measure that decriminalized possession of hard drugs in Oregon. The group, known as the Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110, plans to pursue these changes through the state legislature and, if necessary, by referring them to the November 2024 ballot.
While Measure 110 was approved by a majority of Oregon voters in 2020, concerns about widespread drug use, particularly of fentanyl and other hard drugs, have prompted many to reassess its impact. Recent polling indicates that over half of likely voters are supportive of a complete repeal of the measure.
The proposed changes do not call for a repeal but instead seek to address what critics view as the measure’s main flaw: the voluntary nature of drug treatment. The coalition’s goal is to enhance the promise of Measure 110 by expanding access to treatment and delivering it more quickly to a larger number of individuals.
The group’s proposed ballot measure includes two versions, both of which have been filed as initiatives with the state. One version, titled the “Fix & Improve M110 initiative,” would make it a misdemeanor to possess hard drugs in public and would require treatment for individuals charged with low-level drug-related offenses. The second version includes these provisions and introduces automatic expungement of misdemeanor possession convictions following treatment. It also proposes stricter penalties for repeat drug dealers and suggests sweeping changes to the administration of treatment program funding, transferring oversight to the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission.
Advocates for Measure 110 argue that diverting funds from voluntary treatment programs to mandatory treatment could undermine efforts to combat fatal overdoses and address racial disparities in policing. They emphasize the need for increased funding for effective and accessible voluntary treatment options.
The proposed changes have received support from notable donors, including Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, Nike founder Phil Knight, and real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer. However, the ultimate success of the coalition’s efforts remains uncertain, as Democratic legislators are unlikely to offer unanimous support for substantial alterations to Measure 110.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Measure 110?
Measure 110 is a 2020 ballot measure in Oregon that decriminalized possession of hard drugs and allocated tax dollars to addiction treatment and recovery programs.
What changes are being proposed?
The coalition is suggesting changes to make drug treatment mandatory for individuals charged with low-level drug offenses and to introduce automatic expungement of misdemeanor possession convictions after treatment. They also propose stricter penalties for repeat drug dealers and modifications to how treatment program funding is administered.
Who opposes the proposed changes?
Advocates for Measure 110 argue against diverting funds from voluntary treatment programs and prefer increased funding for accessible voluntary treatment.