Small rally in downtown Medford pushes for support on Measure 110

DOWNTOWN MEDFORD, Ore. — Oregon Measure 110, or the ‘Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative’, brought supporters to downtown Medford’s Vogel Plaza Saturday afternoon.

“I take care of patients on a mobile health van for La Clinca as a nurse practitioner and I have many patients struggling with addiction everyday,” Lauri Hoagland says she wants to see a change that allows people with addictions to get help through rehab or therapy versus criminal incarceration. “I’ve witnessed people getting released from jail into a community of users, waiting too long for a date to get into recovery, I view this as a medical condition that needs health care,” she said.

Voting ‘Yes’ on Measure 110 supports making ‘personal non-commercial possession of a controlled substance no more than a class E violation while establishing a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax and state prison savings.

“We really want people to have access to health care and healing and become self-sufficient in our community,” said Anna Ford. She and Virginia Camberos came to support the rally as part of their organization Unite Oregon.

They say a misconception they hear often is that the entire health care system will be destroyed, if the measure is passed on November 3rd. “What’s gonna happen is, is that instead of money going through the criminal justice system (and you have to be criminalized in order to get access) there’s a grant pool,” said Ford.

“The focus is getting recovery to all parts of Oregon, people are not forced to leave their home communities for recovery, there will be more options,” said Hoagland.

Former Oregon governor Dr. John Kitzhaber announced his opposition to Measure 110 recently. He writes, “…those arrested for illegal drug possession in Oregon are offered state-funded treatment services through diversion programs, including drug courts. Measure 110 would eliminate this invaluable tool by reducing the possession of highly addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone to a “violation,” which means the court will no longer have the ability to offer people the choice to pursue treatment.”

If passed, Measure 110 is estimated to take away $45 million from cities and counties mental health and addiction services over the next 3 years.

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