News & Politics

Oregon Decriminalizes 'Personal Use' Amounts of Hard Drugs, Including Heroin, Meth, Cocaine


On Election Day, Oregon voters approved a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs—any drugs. Measure 110 made it legal to carry “personal use” amounts of Schedule I drugs, including heroin, meth, cocaine, and MDMA. It also directs the Oregon Health Authority to use some of the cannabis tax revenue for the creation of drug treatment programs.

The advertising in favor of Measure 110 focused only on creating drug treatment programs, while scarcely mentioning the legalization aspect. Ballotpedia describes Measure 110:

What did Measure 110 change about drug possession offenses?

See also: Oregon drug possession laws

The measure reclassified personal/non-commercial drug possession offenses. Possession of a controlled substance in Schedule I-IV, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, was reclassified from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation resulting in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment. Individuals who manufacture or distribute illegal drugs are still subject to a criminal penalty. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimated that convictions for possession of a controlled substance would decrease by 3,679 or 90.7%.[2][3]

The health assessments are conducted through addiction recovery centers and include a substance use disorder screening by a certified alcohol and drug counselor. Health assessments must be completed within 45 days of the violation.[2]

How is the drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded?

See also: Measure design

The initiative established the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund that would receive funds from the Oregon Marijuana Account and state savings from reductions in arrests, incarceration, and official supervision. Before transferring funds from the Oregon Marijuana Account to other recipients, the initiative required that all revenue in excess of $11.25 million be transferred to the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund every quarter. The Oversight and Accountability Council established by the Director of the Oregon Health Authority would give grants from the fund to government or community-run organizations to create addiction recovery centers. The centers must provide immediate medical or other treatment 24 hours a day, health assessments, intervention plans, case management services, and peer support and outreach.

Oregon County Excludes Republicans From Key Election Oversight Positions

The latest results show the measure passing in Oregon, 58-41%. Financial backing for the measure came from the Drug Policy Alliance, which lists George Soros, among others, on its board of directors. The Drug Policy Alliance spent a total of $4.5 million to support passage of the measure in Oregon. Mark Zuckerberg also donated $500,000 to the cause:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is behind a new source of big money for the Oregon initiative to decriminalize illegal drug use and provide more money for drug treatment.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave $500,000 to the campaign for the measure. The money comes from their nonprofit, a new disclosure report shows.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative says one of its major goals is to revamp a criminal justice system it says is based more on punishment than rehabilitation.

In other states, $4.5 million would be a mere drop in the ocean. In Oregon, that was more than the combined total raised by the Republican and Democratic candidates for Secretary of State. With shady advertising and an ever more compliant voter base, Oregon passed this measure with ease.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.

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