Politicians sell fake drug progress, “crime fixed” lie

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


Governor Kotek signed the bill this week to scale back the Measure 110 drug decriminalization bill which brought a lot of national attention.

The nation’s largest newspaper, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board had some criticisms on the issue, “This week Democrats in Salem rolled back the misguided social experiment… Proponents of decriminalization point to Oregon Health Authority data showing an increase in the number of people in substance-abuse treatment after Measure 110 took effect. They fail to mention that this treatment included “harm-reduction services” that amount to enabling drug users by providing them with fentanyl test strips and needle exchanges. “

That’s right, handing out a crack pipe has been counted as a successful treatment of a person helped in Oregon.

With a Presidential election at stake this year and a Governor embroiled in a First Spouse scandal expect more outrageous spins on progress where they may be none.

Look how this week Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, tried to spin Portland’s rebound with the NY Times:

“[Wheeler]… the city looks much better. Foot traffic is way up. Criminal activity is way down. With the opening of our TASS sites, with the expansion of our services at our safe-rest villages, we have a thousand new shelter beds we didn’t have even a year ago. Things have improved.

[NY Times] At the same time, in relatively recent polling, I think 81 percent said they feel unsafe going downtown in Portland at night. Are they wrong to feel that way?

[Wheeler] I would never tell anybody they’re wrong to feel unsafe. If you feel unsafe, you feel unsafe. And that is your prerogative. What I would say is, objectively, crime rates are way down.”

See how Wheeler manipulates statistics.  Portland had the nation’s highest increase in homicide in 2020, and so anything less than the record-breaking high is now a turn-around success.

Wheeler’s promotion of 1,000 new shelter beds is also part of the sales job.   The politicians will showcase the number of beds but what really matters is the number of homeless on the streets and those committing crimes.  Same with Measure 110 reforms, the politicians will boast of the taxpayer money for new services but what really matters will be if people are using it and drug crimes go down.  After all, despite hundreds of millions of our tax dollars spent on treatment, only 1% of those drug criminals caught (a key metric) actually used the hotline for help when they were detained.

Politicians are spending millions to build treatment centers but can’t get people to staff them because of the labor shortage crisis.

As stated, this is an election year.  Pay attention to the rhetoric.

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