MultCo DA adopts drug decriminalization measure early

Multnomah County

Oregonians passed the measure in November

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Drug users prepare cocaine before injecting, inside of a safe consumption van set up by Peter Krykant on November 6,2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Peter, a recovering heroin addict and former drugs worker, has set up the drug consumption van where addicts can inject safely and take drugs under supervision. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt in Portland says he isn’t waiting until February to implement a policy that will decriminalize possession of all drugs in personal use amounts.

Schmidt’s office issued a press release on Thursday, saying it will immediately start treating drug possession cases exempt from prosecution under Measure 110 as a public health matter, rather than a criminal one. Oregonians passed the measure in November.

Schmidt said it’s time to expand access to treatment and focus limited law enforcement resources on high-level, commercial drug offenses. The district attorney cited overwhelming support for Measure 110, with over 74% of Multnomah County voters approving it, as reason for his early adoption.

“The passage of Ballot Measure 110 sends a clear message of strong public support that drug use should be treated as a public health matter rather than a criminal justice matter,” Schmidt said. “Past punitive drug policies and laws resulted in over-policing of diverse communities, heavy reliance on correctional facilities and a failure to promote public safety and health. It’s time to move beyond these failed practices, expand access to treatment and focus our limited law enforcement resources to target high-level, commercial drug offenses.”

Criminal drug offenses will still be prosecuted as a felony crime, according to the DA’s office. The ballot measure does not decriminalize the manufacturing, selling nor the possession of large quantities of drugs.

KOIN 6 news contributed to this Associated Press report.

Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather


Download our FREE news and weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our email newsletters.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Twitter News Widget

Trending Stories