To date, over 16,000 Oregon residents have already accessed services funded by Measure 110.

By Alexander Lekhtman, Filter

February 1 marks the one-year anniversary since Measure 110 took effect in Oregon, decriminalizing low-level drug possession and increasing funding for harm reduction, substance use disorder treatment and other key services.

According to information shared with Filter by the Drug Policy Alliance, there were 60 percent fewer total drug arrests in state over the 10 months after February 1, 2021, compared with the same period the previous year. That 2020 period saw 9,100 drug arrests in total—meaning a reduction of almost 5,500 arrests. However, the data do not yet show the extent to which this decline was attributable to Measure 110. 

oregon drug decriminalization, dispensary open sign

Measure 110 also requires that a portion of cannabis tax revenue be put into a special fund to expand services for people who use drugs. Before the measure passed, Oregon ranked near the bottom of all US states for access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

Thanks to the measure, the state has already paid out over $31.4 million to providers of services including treatment, harm reduction, peer support, and housing and employment support. Governor Kate Brown had initially wanted to delay payments until July 2022, but advocates told Filter that they successfully fought to get this money paid out early, helping to keep critical services running.

To date, over 16,000 Oregon residents have accessed services funded by Measure 110.

In the meantime, the state has received, and has been reviewing, funding requests from providers all over Oregon. From mid-February, the state will be paying out another estimated $302 million to help every county create a “behavioral health resource network.” This should entail a coordinated, one-stop system where each county’s service providers will work together to make it as easy as possible for people to get the care they need.

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