Measure 110: Can it be fixed?

By on Monday, October 9th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OREGON – The ballot measure that decriminalized individual possession of set amounts of narcotics was approved by the voters, but in at least one recent poll, 56 percent of those participating said it should be repealed. Law enforcement has said making possession a crime the same level as a traffic ticket does not give those with substance abuse disorders the incentive to get treatment. It is also cited as the reason behind an increase in thefts by those same sources.

Now, Oregon State Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena) says indications are the 2024 session of the Oregon Legislature will turn its eyes toward the measure in an attempt to fix it. Hansell would like to see it go deeper than a fix.

“I think a lot of us feel that we need to send it back to the voters for another vote or just flat out repeal it,” he said. “I’m not sure tweaks are going to work, but we’ll see what happens.”

Umatilla County Commissioner John Shafer agrees that the measure should be repealed. However, he said that the state lawmakers realize their political futures could hang on something being done. Legislators are reported to be discussing raising fentanyl possession to a criminal misdemeanor instead of a citation. He said disillusionment with Measure 110 is being felt throughout the state, not just in Eastern Oregon. “The legislators, especially on the Democrat side of the aisle, I think they’re going to have to do something or they’re going to find themselves unemployed,” he said.