Rep. Cramer: Where Measure 110 stands

By Oregon State Representative Tracy Cramer, (#22)

Defenders of Measure 110 will tell you that drug decriminalization “needs more time to work.” What that means in practice is “more people are going to die before we make a change.” That is not acceptable to me, nor should it be acceptable to Oregonians.

No one believes Measure 110 is working the way it is supposed to.

In response, the House Speaker and Senate President have put together a committee to figure out what we need to do when it comes to drug use and Measure 110. Most of us already know what needs to be done: Repeal Measure 110. But in the meantime, this new legislative committee will meet in the run-up to the 2024 short session and talk about potential paths forward.

On Monday, December 4, the committee will accept public testimony on Oregon’s drug crisis. To sign up to testify in person, or online, click here. To send written testimony, send an email here: [email protected]

Much of the blame for our current drug crisis is correctly placed on on Measure 110, but a lesser-known court case is also wreaking havoc on law enforcement’s ability to charge drug dealers. District Attorneys and other law enforcement officials recently appeared before a Legislative committee to advocate for a change to the law.

I recently signed a letter with my House Republican colleagues outlining the changes we want to see to Measure 110. Those include rehabilitating those struggling with addiction, restore criminal accountability for possession of deadly drugs, reinvest in proven methods that get people clean and sober, and finally repeal the failed aspects of Measure 110, which included scrapping Governor-appointed boards that have proven ineffective at getting money to projects ready to help people get sober. Read that letter here:

I am not optimistic this committee will turn out anything like the policy reforms needed to stem the tide of the drug addiction crisis in Oregon. The chairs of the committee rejected multiple attempts from Republicans to reform Measure 110 in the last session.

But the public pressure against Measure 110 is mounting. Marion County became one of the growing counties that have formally passed resolutions calling for the recriminalization of hard drugs. This comes at the same time that homeless people in Salem have said they haven’t seen the benefits of Measure 110.

A combined 60% of Oregonians said that homelessness and drug addiction were the most pressing issues facing the state, according to a new poll. The news is filled with events like the mass overdose event that happened over a month ago in a Portland park.

Quality of life issues like Measure 110, homelessness, and related crime have big impacts on other parts of our state. People don’t want to travel here, and increasingly, people don’t want to live here at all. This has serious implications for the future of our economy.

We know what needs to be done. Repeal Measure 110. We just need the political courage to do it.