• Sam Adams

It's Cruel and Ineffective - Let's Change It



Oregon’s current approach to drug addiction is ineffective and cruel. Instead of helping people with addiction, we brand them as criminals and lock them out of society. This November we have a chance to win a more humane approach by passing Measure 110.


The current system is failing:

  • Oregon ranks nearly last out of the 50 states in access to drug treatment.

  • Nearly two Oregonians die every day of overdose.

  • An Oregonian gets arrested for misdemeanor drug possession about once every hour, and the resulting criminal records break apart families and stop people from getting jobs, housing, professional licenses, and more.

  • Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ, immigrant and low-income communities are disproportionately harmed.

Measure 110 would reduce racial disparities in drug arrests by 95%. We must help detoxify Oregon of bad drug policies and make things right.


Under Measure 110, instead of arrests, Oregonians would get better access to drug addiction treatment and recovery. More than $100 million in new funding would go to these services, paid for with an existing tax on cannabis. Measure 110 has been endorsed by more than 130 organizations, including the:

  • American College of Physicians.

  • Oregon Nurses Association

  • Oregon School Psychologists Association

  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership

  • Oregon Academy of Family Physicians

  • Coalition of Communities of Color

  • Oregonian

  • Willamette Week

  • Mercury

  • Skanner

  • NW Labor Press

For me, this is personal. I was Portland’s police commissioner, and I am a member of a family with serious addiction problems. I have seen how the stigma and shame of drug addiction stops too many people from getting the help they need.


That’s why as mayor, I co-invited the federal to audit to improve Portland police treatment of those with mental health and substance use disorders. I funded harm reduction programs, supported sentencing guideline reforms, and worked to keep people who used drugs out of the formal criminal punishment system with drug courts.


But I learned from these and other experiences that a deeper more foundational change is needed on these issues. We need to take a health approach, not a punishment approach, and we need much more no- and low-cost treatment options.


By passing Measure 110, we can make history, save lives—and stop ruining them. Find out more about Measure 110, get the facts about 110, and see who supports it.


Click here to donate or volunteer.

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