FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2023
Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110
NEW COALITION FILES BALLOT INITIATIVE TO FIX AND IMPROVE MEASURE 110, RELEASES NEW POLLING
This measure seeks to fulfill the promise of Measure 110 – with more drug treatment for more people more quickly, replacing voluntary with required treatment, making possession of hard drugs like fentanyl a crime again, prioritizing treatment over prosecution and jail, prohibiting the use of hard drugs in public and maintaining cannabis taxes for proven treatment programs.
PORTLAND, OR – Responding to the growing suffering across Oregon from easy access to hard drugs, a coalition of Oregonians filed initiatives today to fix and improve Measure 110, the law passed by voters in 2020 that decriminalized the use of hard drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine.
“Measure 110 didn’t cause Oregon’s addiction and overdose crisis, but it is making them worse. Oregon leads the nation in youth overdose deaths and overall rates of use and deaths from overdoses are rising at higher rates than other states. And this human tragedy is making our streets and neighborhoods less safe. Oregon can do better,” said Max Williams, a former state lawmaker and former President of the Oregon Community Foundation, who is leading the effort.
“We can fix and improve Measure 110 at the ballot box next year, or the Governor and legislature can make this initiative unnecessary and save lives by acting on it much sooner. Oregon’s experiment with easy access to lethal drugs combined with lack of treatment capacity, and no credible consequences to incentivize users to seek help simply isn’t working,” continued Williams.
Measure proponents also released new polling from respected Democrat and Republican pollsters showing that 74% of voters, including 63% of Democrats, support recriminalizing personal possession of hard drugs while maintaining existing cannabis taxes for drug treatment and making treatment required, not voluntary, as an alternative to jail. You can read the full poll at fixballotmeasure110.com.
Key provisions of the initiative include:
- Prohibits the use of hard drugs in public places.
- Makes possession of lethal drugs like fentanyl, meth, and heroin a crime again.
- Replaces voluntary with required addiction treatment.
- Prioritizes diversion, treatment, and recovery over prosecution and jail.
- Maintains cannabis taxes for expanded prevention, treatment, and recovery.
- Strengthens program oversight and accountability.
- Strengthen penalties against drug dealing.
The full initiative language is available at fixballotmeasure110.com.
The chief petitioners for the initiative represent the broad cross-section of Oregonians, urban and rural: addiction treatment professionals, impacted families and law enforcement.
“I know firsthand how important it is for public safety and treatment services to work together. The combination of the two saved my life and many other people’s lives who are now in sobriety, said Jerrod Murray, Executive Director, Painted Horse Recovery, and fellow chief petitioner. “I am not advocating for a war on people who use drugs, but I can no longer stand by and pretend that drugs aren’t devastating my community.”
“Oregon’s drug and mental health crisis is touching my family personally. My southeast Portland neighborhood is under daily siege from drug-related crimes and homelessness. Measure 110 is simply making all of it worse. We need to change and fix Measure 110 to make it part of the solution to our problems and not a cause of our problems,” said Juanita Swartwood, who lives in the Lents Neighborhood of Portland.
The Lents neighborhood had more than 2,100 reported crimes in the last year (from July 2022 to July 2023), according to public data compiled by the Portland Police Bureau. By comparison, Portland’s Grant Park neighborhood had 251 reported crimes in that same period.
Measure 110 is a statewide bill and has not only impacted lives in Portland.
“Measure 110 is a problem for both urban and rural Oregon that we should fix with this initiative,” said Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler, a chief petitioner. “Law enforcement, along with professional addiction services, should work together to help people escape the dangerous drugs that are killing our kids, our family members, and our neighbors. We also need to toughen laws against drug dealing. This ballot measure will do both. Let’s fix Measure 110 with stronger incentives and consequences to save lives and improve public safety.”
The Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110 is led and supported by Oregonians who care deeply about the future of our people and our state. Contributions include $300,000 from Tim Boyle, $200,000 from Phil Knight, $100,000 from the Goodman Family, $50,000 from Ed Maletis and $50,000 from Jordan Schnitzer.
Max Williams and Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton will be available for interviews. Media should contact [email protected] or 503-908-9974.