All of Oregon’s 11 Republican senators and one Independent seek a special legislative session on the state’s drug addiction crisis in an effort to reverse the effects of the controversial bill.
The voter-passed measure, which went into effect in 2021, decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs.
In their letter to the governor, the senators say they want to make changes now and don’t wish to wait until the next regular session in February, because “Oregon voters feel that Measure 110 has made addiction, homelessness and crime worse.”
The letter also said that Gov. Kotek has “the power to help us solve this crisis.”
Legislative leaders say they intend to make changes to Measure 110 in the February 2024 session, but are currently gathering more information about how to best make those changes. Some of those lawmakers recently returned from a week-long trip to Portugal, where they learned more about the country that decriminalized all drug use.
Legislators from the House and Senate are holding special hearings in Salem to get input, some of which is coming from law enforcement throughout the state.
KOIN 6 reached out to Gov. Kotek’s office for any updates on her decision but has yet to hear back. In the past, she has indicated she would wait until the legislature’s February session.
There is also a movement underway to ask voters during the upcoming November 2024 election whether they want to change Measure 110 to recriminalize possession and make drug treatment mandatory.
Backers say those initiatives may head for the ballot if lawmakers don’t make substantial changes to Measure 110 in February.