JANUARY 16, 2024 5:30 AM
The debate over Measure 110, passed in 2020, was framed as “treatment over incarceration” for drug offenders. It seems all of us have now learned how wrong this framing was. What appeared to be a constructive debate about finding a better response to drug use was in fact a ballot measure that made drug use a penalty-free behavior, in effect encouraging it.
The failure of prior penalties for drug use does not mean that all penalties should be removed, as was done. At a conceptual level, treatment should be the penalty for drug use, rather than incarceration.