Measure 110 could challenge drug court

By on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – Umatilla County Drug Court could be threatened with the passage of Measure 110, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of narcotics. Drug court is designed to end addiction, and Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus said its participants were referred through the courts after being arrested for possession.

“That’s where a majority of our participants came from,” he said. “But, those possession charges are now violations and individuals with a violation don’t have the opportunity to participate in this program.”

Public safety officials were pleased to see people who could have faced hefty sentences for property crimes to feed their addictions being referred to drug court, with the goal of getting them clean. Primus said that now, to find people who can use the help of drug court, they will be thinking outside the box.

“We’re seeing how we can adapt,” he said. “We’re taking a look at other sorts of property-type crimes.”