Drug Decriminalization in Oregon
February 3, 2023 1:07 PM   Subscribe

After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 110, which made it the first state in the union to broadly decriminalize drug possession, a response to an untenable status quo. In addition, the measure pledged to support the expansion of drug treatment and harm reduction programs in the state through funds from cannabis taxes. posted by Selena777 (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There’s really nothing to report. Social services still aren’t available, and Oregon, as a US state, is still dead last in social service provision. As usual, the “we tried nothing and it’s time to give up” crowd is well represented in the news coverage.
posted by Headfullofair at 1:30 PM on February 3 [7 favorites]

While money has to come from somewhere obvs, I wonder if tying funding to cannabis sales might be part of the problem. As one of the links points out, Oregon does not have universal health care (though it is committed in legislative language to "affordable healthcare", however that may be interpreted under a potential future extremist right government), so this is essentially a sin tax that ties one drug consumption to another drug, as opposed to acknowledging the larger healthcare issue that affects all people, and which all people should be contributing (monetarily) to solving as part of the larger social compact.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:58 PM on February 3 [2 favorites]

If a drug user is instructed to go before a drug panel and they fail to appear, Goulão said that this becomes a "disobedience penalty" — which is a criminal matter, unlike the drug offense. In this case, the punishment could include imprisonment.

Oregon is not doing this. It's not so onerous, I expect all you have to do is show up, listen to the pitch and take a pamphlet, and then you're free to go. But crucially there is a follow-up after the police are done, and life will be easier if you go through with it.

Is Portugal's welfare system superior to Oregon's? I don't know, but I can guess that it's not a coin-flip.
posted by adept256 at 3:02 PM on February 3

The funding from Measure 110 is just now getting out to the counties to expand services. All the people complaining that not enough has happened, before any services have started, can just sit right back down and shut up.

Hot tip - you can ignore anything Keith Humphreys says on anything related to drugs or drug policy.

Here's some actual research on the impact of Measure 110:
No increase in 911 calls after passage of 110. More.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:23 PM on February 3 [8 favorites]

Is there any explanation for the increase in overdose deaths?
posted by Selena777 at 7:42 AM on February 5

Yes - overdose deaths have been going up across the country. This is not unique to Oregon or Portland. AND fentanyl has now arrived in the West Coast drug supply. Fentanyl overdoses are a lot faster than heroin overdoses with a shorter window in which to respond, which is why they are deadlier than heroin or other opioid overdoses. So Oregon is experiencing the national overdose increase and the West coast overdose increase. Plus the COVID-related increase in overdose fatalities.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:24 PM on February 7

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