Addict at the table pulls his hand to the syringe with the dose-cm

Over the past couple of weeks, law enforcement officials and prosecutors from throughout Oregon have started to realize the aftermath of Measure 110’s passage in last November’s general election. The bottom line is that it will drastically affect their ability to do their jobs.

Measure 110, which took effect February 1, changes possession of user amounts of controlled substances to a violation instead of a crime. Fortunately, Commercial Drug Offenses (CDOs) for many substances will remain a felony and some will be a Class A misdemeanor.

Unfortunately, the legal threshold between what will constitute a violation versus a crime is still somewhat baffling. Someone can now possess up to 40 units of LSD and methadone and 40 oxycodone pills and have it considered a mere violation.

What all of this means is that the investigation of drug crimes will now become more complicated and difficult than ever before.

That’s not even the worst part. Oregon voters were sold a bill of goods, in the form of a promise that passage of the measure would lead to more people getting the addiction treatment help that they need. But this recent article shows that this state is ill-equipped to deal with the anticipated influx of people wanting to utilize those programs.

As it currently stands, Oregon taxpayers spend billions of dollars on treatment programs. That spending is not tracked, and the system is already overwhelmed with people waiting months for addiction treatment services and not receiving them.

Oregon is a state whose residents already struggle with substance abuse. An estimated 300,000 residents are battling an addiction of some sort or another. We’re among the top states for abuse of painkillers and methamphetamine.

Although I’ve long believed in our initiative petition system, I believe it was abused in this case. Out-of-state interests decided to spend a few million dollars to essentially run an experiment in our beloved state, using some of our most vulnerable and underserved residents as guinea pigs.

If this measure produces the outcomes desired by its sponsors, you can expect to see similar versions of it popping up in other states. However, if it creates problems or makes existing ones even worse, which I believe will be the case, we alone will have to deal with the consequences.

Public policy is often described as a pendulum that swings back and forth, based on the actions and reactions to different decisions that are made. Sometimes the pendulum swings too far in one direction or another and eventually comes swinging back to a point of reasonable balance.

It can be argued that the War on Drugs took things too far in one direction, with the long-term incarcerations of millions of Americans for simple drug possession. But that pendulum seems to be heading to the opposite extreme, and I hope that we’re ready to bring it back into balance once everyone realizes that it’s gone too far.

Tootie Smith welcomes your comments and ideas to this or any topic of interest here…

  1. Mark Lafleur says:

    I always find it funny when the supporting democrats try to expell their compassion on its citizens. You’ve made it possible for drug dealers to operate in the open.
    As a drug dealer you’ve told me don’t bring all your pills out for sale just 40 or less(I’m not a dealer)
    Your going to write tickets for use for people most likely living on the streets?
    Do homeless have lots of money?
    Will you lock them up for not paying?
    A government that enables its citizens to become a heroin addict and live on the streets to overdose is not compassionate.
    One last thing, if and when someone makes it out of rehabilitation how are they supposed to stay sober and why if all their friends still are?
    Many people that come out of rehabilitation overdose because they take the same amount they used to do , but their body is not!

  2. Cheryl Rice says:

    This is a symptom of a larger problem that has invaded this state. Starting with the disregard for the sanctity of life. Killing unborn children, euthanizing people, legalizing all kinds of drug use including this one and then having an ignorant, idiot of a state legislator introduce legalizing prostitution is beyond belief. As Pope Francis stated “ the problem of drugs is not solved by drugs. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem. … they fail to produce results. Drug addiction is an evil and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise.” These policies that the liberals and our captured government, education systems, media, purvey is nothing but evil, bad or whatever name you want to attach to it. It has proven for centuries to be the collapse of civilizations.

  3. I heard from a friend the other day…that in Las Vegas NV. when a homeless person is located, the authorities give him/her $50. and a bus ticket to either Seattle or Portland, OR. This both shocked and saddened me. Our homeless population has exploded within the last 10 years in Portland, Eugene, Salem and now the smaller rural cities in Oregon are seeing an influx. Studies indicate that the main cause of homelessness or (Houselessness) is mental health and drug addiction. So my question is: Measure 110 makes it LEGAL for adults to possess small amounts of dangerous drugs in OREGON without consequence, doesn’t that promote illegal drug use? And the kids are most likely going to copy their big brothers and sisters only to become drug addicts too. So…Is there a PAC group that has formed to repeal this awful Measure? Oregon is not a petri dish for the USA.

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