Vote Yes on Measure 110 – Drug Decriminalization | Elections | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Vote Yes on Measure 110 – Drug Decriminalization

This election, voters have the opportunity to extend folks some needed medical and mental health treatment.

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SOURCE WEEKLY
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We are all veterans of the War on Drugs. And at this point, we have little to show for it. Unfortunately, the history of this conflict is one where community members suffering from addiction have been thrown in jail and branded as criminals for life. But the tide is turning. This election, voters have the opportunity to extend folks some needed medical and mental health treatment.

Measure 110 decriminalizes the possession of drugs for personal use. (Yes, that means people with small amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. won't be charged.) It funnels some of the state's growing cannabis tax revenue into addiction treatment services.

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission declared last year that Oregon has one of the worst substance-abuse problems in the country and also ranks the worst for access to treatment services. In many places in Oregon, people have no access to treatment at all. For those on the Oregon Health Plan, the only rehabs that accept it have month-long waiting lists.

Meanwhile, the state spends $1 billion a year keeping small time drug offenders behind bars and wastes tax dollars on arresting and prosecuting people for minor drug possession—not to mention the decades of documented drug policies that have kept Oregon's BIPOC community jailed at rates much higher than the general population.

Portugal decriminalized drugs in 2001; today it has one of the lowest overdose rates in Europe along with the least drug-related HIV infections. The New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, along with Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), has raised millions to support Measure 110. If passed, Oregon would be the first state to decriminalize personal possession.

Oregon Recovers, a lobbying group for the rehab industry, is against the measure, essentially because they didn't write it and weren't consulted. While you might see the recovery community campaigning against the measure, a large part of that opposition come from the fact that Oregon Recovers has its own plan to raise revenue for state-funded treatment through a tax on alcohol. That tax has already failed five times in Oregon, and our community cannot wait.

Vote Yes on Measure 110.

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