According to a poll by DHM Research of Portland, Oregon, most voters favor repealing parts of Measure 110. Voters adopted the initiative in 2020, making it legal to possess tiny amounts of drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.
Most drug possession felonies were reduced to misdemeanors, and millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue were supposed to be distributed to drug treatment services through grants; however, an audit conducted in January revealed that state officials lacked transparency regarding the use of $33 million in grant funds.
The margin of error for DHM’s online survey of 500 Oregon voters, conducted between April 24 and 30, is 4.4%. To ensure that the results represent the state’s electorate, they have been weighted according to age, gender, race, education level, and political affiliation.
Sixty-five percent of those who responded felt that Measure 110 exacerbated drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon. In the same poll, 63% of respondents said they favored stricter punishments for even little marijuana possession but still wanted cannabis taxes to pay for addiction therapies.
Similar to a poll conducted in October by DHM for The Oregonian/OregonLive, which found voters divided over what they perceive to be the root cause of homelessness, nearly 60% of those surveyed said they thought drug addiction and mental health problems were the leading causes of homelessness.
John Horvick, a pollster at DHM, speculates that this is because some respondents are thinking of those who are “openly homeless,” while others are considering a broader definition that includes people who are “couch surfing,” for example.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, the program has helped over 60,000 people get into addiction treatment since it began in February.
To avoid criminal charges, those caught under 100 milligrams of a controlled substance can contact a statewide hotline or pay a $100 fee under Measure 110. A year in jail and a $6,250 fine is possible for anyone caught with significant amounts.
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The majority of persons who are convicted of drug possession in a state court ignore the $100 fine and the health screening call, according to state data.
In the first year after the law was enacted, 110 people in Portland were given citations. In 2022, that amount doubled, and this month, police in Portland are on course to hand out the most citations they have since February 2021. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported last week that 36 tickets had been distributed in the first eight days of May.
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