By Sheraz Sadiq (OPB)
June 19, 2023 9 a.m.

In 2020, Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs with the passage of Measure 110 by voters. The measure also allocates funds from a tax on cannabis to expand access to drug treatment and recovery services. Last September, the Oregon Health Authority announced it had finished awarding the first round of Measure 110 grants — totaling roughly $300 million — to nonprofits throughout the state to pay for peer recovery counseling and other supportive services to help people experiencing substance use disorder.

A new study from Portland State University finds that law enforcement officers across Oregon seem frustrated with Measure 110 and confused about the role they are now expected to play in the interdiction of drugs. Christopher Campbell, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at PSU and the co-author of the study which was published last month, interviewed 23 police officers and sheriff’s deputies in three urban and three rural counties in Oregon along with his team.

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