On Thursday, David Brock Smith became the first Oregon senator to call for a special legislative session to repeal Measure 110.
The measure, which decriminalized small amounts of illicit drugs and prioritizes treatment over incarceration, was overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2020. But three years later, Brock Smith, who represents District 1, said it’s led to an increase in open drug use, addiction, homelessness and crime.
“Measure 110 is a failure. More lives are lost every day,” he said. “We must repeal Measure 110 to give our law enforcement officers the tools needed to protect the health and safety of our residents and their communities. I call on Governor Kotek and my legislative colleagues to act.”
The senator’s push for repeal comes as the metro chamber hosted a forum Thursday morning to discuss whether Measure 110 is helping or hurting Oregonians.
While acknowledging the ongoing challenges associated with decriminalization, Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton argued against repealing the measure, advocating instead to fix and improve it by increasing treatment options and reintroducing the use of the criminal justice system to better ensure people are engaging in treatment.
“Our businesses are struggling. Communities are struggling. People are dying. This is not working. So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to give it more time? We’ve had three years, should we do four or five? My group, and what I think is there is an urgent need to do something now,” he said.