Oregon Ballot Measure 110 would decriminalize personal drug use and redirect marijuana tax money to further fund addiction treatment services. While many tout the measure as an important step forward in addressing equity in the criminal justice system and stemming the addiction epidemic, one prominent group in the field of drug addiction recovery has come out against it -- Oregon Recovers.
According to opponents of the measure, decriminalizing drug use and possession in this way will actually make it more difficult for people who have an addiction disorder to get the help they need. Most people don't find themselves in jail for drug use or possession alone, but that added charge allows drug courts to offer people a path to recovery by directing them into treatment as opposed to jail. Opponents fear that without that potential consequence, many will not find their way to being clean, and indeed prisons will see greater populations due to property crime charges that otherwise would have directed offenders into treatment. Because the current healthcare system does not have adequate support for those with addiction disorders, eliminating a main path to treatment could be disastrous.
KBOO's Anna Fox spoke with Mike Marshall, spokesperson for No on Measure 110 campaign about why the drug decriminalization measure isn't all it purports to be.