By Oregon Representative E. Werner Reschke
Representative E. Werner Reschke today urged Governor Tina Kotek to call a special session of the Oregon Legislature for the sole purpose of repealing Measure 110. Rep. Reschke cited the worsening addiction crisis, which recently saw a mass overdose event in the streets of Portland, as well as public opinion polling showing Oregonians want the measure repealed in urging the governor to take action.
“Every day Ballot Measure 110 remains in place, more addicts are created and more people die. The evidence is clearly seen by the explosion of homelessness and despair throughout the state. It’s obvious to most that Measure 110 has been an abject policy failure.
“With due respect to my legislative colleagues, we cannot wait until February for a new committee to deliberate and decide. Oregonians want to see immediate action, that’s why a special session, now, is imperative. Every day that goes by, more of our neighbors succumb to addiction, and recovery takes time, is expensive and difficult. Now, not in several months, is the time to repeal Measure 110.”
Rep. Reschke went on to point out that Ballot Measure 110 did two things: it took state funding dedicated to schools, police, cities, and counties and shifted it to the Oregon Health Authority to set up addiction recovery services. At the same time, the measure decriminalized all street drugs. During the 2023 Legislative session several bills were introduced by Republican legislators to wind back the harmful effects Measure 110. All were rejected by the majority of Democrat legislators.
“Just a week ago, we saw a mass overdose event involving young adults in Portland. It’s such a tragedy — even our kids aren’t safe from this deadly policy. Each day we wait, more harm is done; Measure 110 has cost people their lives; it has failed. Oregonians recognize it, too, with a majority of them supporting outright repeal. By delaying any further, the state’s enabling of addiction is cruel and immoral. We have the power to take action now, to make things right and repeal Measure 110.
“At the same time, I reaffirm my commitment to ensuring the Oregonians who need help recovering from addiction get the help they need. We must hold state agencies accountable for their failures to deliver promised services and put a real plan of action in place to assist those who are struggling. However, I firmly reject the idea that we must embrace decriminalization to deliver effective addiction recovery services. We’ve already seen that model play-out, and the consequences have been deadly.”