Poll: Why Do Most Oregon Voters Want Measure 110 To Remain In Place?

A recent survey reveals that Oregon’s contentious drug legislation continues to enjoy widespread support.

Measure 110, which would have decriminalized the use of small amounts of hard drugs and freed up funding for addiction treatment, was decisively approved by Oregonians in the general election of 2020. Supporters of the ballot initiative praised it as a historic step for the US. Even if prominent critics and opponents are now calling for the law’s repeal, those same supporters are appealing for patience two years later.

According to the most recent results of a poll conducted in August, 36% of respondents believe Measure 110 should be repealed and 58% say it should be kept in place.

Data For Progress, a self-described progressive polling organization, used an online panel and SMS responders to interview 1,051 probable Oregon voters.

And the margin is almost the same when compared to November 2020, when Oregonians actually cast their ballots and approved the measure. On the 2020 ballot, nearly 58% of voters approved Measure 110, while just 42% opposed it.

“It’s encouraging to see that. There are no regretful purchases, “the Health Justice Recovery Alliance’s executive director Tera Hurst. What it demonstrates is that a lot of people think drug abuse and addiction should be handled by the public health system rather than the criminal justice system.

Hurst has been working to place the historic bill on the 2020 ballot since the secretary of state’s office received the first batch of signed petitions.

The 36th and last Oregon county to receive financing for drug treatment and recovery programs has now been authorized by the Oversight and Accountability Council, over two years after Measure 110’s passage and more than a year after it went into effect. The council, which was made up of volunteers who applied to join, was tasked with taking all the funds from the state’s marijuana tax income intended for drug treatment and splitting and distributing the monies to all of Oregon’s counties.

This clearance procedure was just recently completed, late last month.

In accordance with Measure 110, there must be a Behavioral Health Resource Network (BRHN) in every county in Oregon. According to OHA, as of early September, the council has authorized 44 BHRNs across the 36 counties of Oregon, with some counties receiving services from more than one network. Each of these networks provides community-driven and culturally relevant drug treatment and recovery programs.

Since authorizing the first of the state’s networks in May, the council has given more than $264 million in BRHN financing, according to OHA.

People who may have been worried or concerned about Measure 110 and the possibility of decriminalization coming before services are now realizing that we’ve had decades to invest in these services but we haven’t done so, which explains why we are ranked 50th in the country (for access to treatment) in that regard, according to Hurst. “Therefore, I would hope that anyone looking at it would think, “Huh, yes, this is the appropriate way.”

If the decriminalization component of it ensures that people do not have hurdles to housing and work and $300 million is spent on programs that we have not invested in. Additionally, such transformative laws require time.”

But if you ask the leading contenders for governor of Oregon, the legislation isn’t operating quickly or effectively enough.

Most Oregon Voters Want Measure 110 To Remain
Most Oregon Voters Want Measure 110 To Remain

Both Republican Christine Drazan and independent candidate Betsy Johnson have pledged to fight to overturn Measure 110, according to KATU. Democrat Tina Kotek acknowledged the law’s shortcomings but remained committed to it.

When questioned about the criticism, Hurst told KATU, “I assume that those that didn’t like the statute two years ago, probably still don’t.” “There have been some hiccups in the first year. So I’d say that in terms of creating improvements, it’s actually on pace. Voters in Oregon passed Measure 110 in the proper way. And if candidates run on a platform to repeal it, they are doing so with the intention of thwarting the will of the people.”

The decriminalization component of Measure 110 has mostly disappointed the candidate, and the study revealed that many Oregonians shared this displeasure.

Out of all the Measure 110 measures, including increasing peer support (91%), supporting employment (90%), and providing additional addiction treatment programs (86%), the Data For Progress poll indicated that support for the abolition of criminal sanctions was the lowest. However, a majority (61%) still supported decriminalization.

To maintain a solid base of support, according to Hurst, greater education and understanding are required.

Hurst stated, “We need to convey better how the ‘war on drugs has affected the populations that were most targeted. “If the general public and many members of law enforcement could restate that selling is still unlawful and a crime, breaking and entering is still illegal and a criminal. Drug usage is still a factor in a lot of cases. Even while it’s important, decriminalization just said that if you’re caught with a tiny bit of marijuana in your pocket, you won’t face lifelong restrictions.”

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