Measure 110 was a ballot initiative approved by Oregon voters in 2003. It eliminated criminal penalties from low-level drug possession. Last week, the Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110 put forward two versions to reverse that reform. According to recent polling, most Oregonians seem to be open to this idea.
Two main reasons are behind this shift in public opinion. Neither of them is at the core of the moral or practical argument for decriminalization. Oregonians understandably worry about the problems associated with public drug usage. They are also dismayed by the fact that despite Measure 110 promising more funding for treatments, opioid-related fatalities have continued to grow.
Measure 110’s main concept was that intoxicants not favored by the government should not be considered a crime. Drug use in and of itself does not violate any rights.
However, removing criminal penalties from drug possession does not mean tolerating behavior that offends, disturbs, or alarms…