By Oregon State Representative Ed Diehl,
One hot topic during our upcoming 2024 short session will be Ballot Measure 110. BM110 decriminalized drug use in Oregon without any systems in place to handle to fallout. Oregonians are rightly upset about the rollout, and overwhelming want it either repealed entirely or overhauled in a major way. 61% of Oregonians consider BM110 a failure. BM110 didn’t cause our homelessness and drug use crisis, but it has made it much worse.
I am encouraging the legislature to act in the 2024 with bold change on BM110. I am in full support of a complete repeal of 110, and rethinking how we deliver drug addiction treatment and recovery services. At a minimum, our legislature must:
- Create of crime of using drugs in public;
- Mandate drug treatment for drug addicts charged with possession and/or certain crimes;
- Recriminalize the use of hard drugs, including fentanyl, meth, heroin, and cocaine; and
- Increase the penalties for drug dealers;
- Require funding of evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery services, as well as enforcement services.
After my first term in the legislature, it is clear that we are lacking a coordinated, system-wide approach to tackling drug addiction in Oregon. I am encouraging the legislature, and the Governor, to rethink how we are organized to tackle this crisis. In part, this means abandoning the BM110 Oversight and Accountability Council, which, in my opinion, has been ineffective and misguided in it’s approach to grant funding. We should also bring our Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery program under the leadership of a single entity, that guides the goals, strategy and funding of the state, county, and non-profits in an intentional, coordinated fashion.
Links to additional information on the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council:
State ends two Measure 110 grants this month over misuse of funds, failure to provide services. The Oregon Health Authority was alerted to problems by former employee complaints – not from its own oversight
The Ballot Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council has doled out over 300 million to 105 non-profits. We already have reports that some of these nonprofits have improperly used funds in the Oregon Health authority is trying to claw back the money. Many of these non-profits have little to no experience with drug addiction treatment and recovery. They also don’t have experience administering large government grants. My office will soon request a full audit of this process and how these funds were utilized.