Local officials, legislators call to repeal voter-approved Measure 110

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. – With Oregon overdose deaths rising, more state and local government officials are asking to repeal Measure 110.

“I think that Measure 110 is a complete failure.”

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin is one of many public officials urging Oregon legislature to repeal Measure 110.

Measure 110 was passed by voters back in 2020. It decriminalized the possession of drugs, even methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin.  Instead, it invested in drug treatment centers, which intended to address addiction as a health issue rather than a legal one.

In the years since, Oregon’s drug problem appears to have gotten worse.

“Whether you’re the people that were supporting Measure 110 or those opposing it, enough time has gone by that we can all see that it’s a failed promise,” said Douglas County commissioner Tim Freeman.

Freeman says from what he has seen, the measure does more harm than good.

“The very people that the proponents of Measure 110 were trying to help are the ones that are being harmed the most.”

As elected officials weigh a change in next February’s legislative session, the former head of Oregon’s Department of Corrections and the Oregon Community Foundation Max Williams is leading a statewide coalition.  He’s clear they don’t want to repeal 11 but make changes to it.

“The current version really doesn’t have any motivation for people who are dealing with these high levels of addiction,” Williams said. “And these incredibly powerful drugs – these lethal drugs of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine – to be motivated to actually seek treatment.”

Oregon governor Tina Kotek told NBC5 while the results with Measure 1-10 aren’t what everyone hoped for, the state is seeing some progress.

“I think the report card is out with Measure 110,” Kotek said. “I think we’re seeing some progress. It’s been slower than we all hoped. But there is progress and my job as governor is to speed up that progress, make sure communities have what they need.”

South Coast State Senator David Brock Smith says however, the measure is doing the exact opposite.

“The overwhelming majority of Oregonians that we’ve seen polling have shown that this has been a failure and they want to see change,” said Senator Brock Smith.

He says it’s time for Oregon to make a change once again.

“We have money and the and resources in the pipeline for treatment that frankly needs to go to the counties that can provide those services and be held accountable for them.”

Senator Brock Smith says he expects more information about the repeal efforts should be coming out within the following weeks.

Jackson County’s board of commissioners and the Medford City Council officially came out against 110 in the last few months.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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