The Mental Health Association of Portland Opposes Measure 110

The Mental Health Association of Portland, one of Oregon’s most active advocates for people with mental illness, addiction, and alcoholism urges a NO vote on state Ballot Measure 110.

The organization has never taken a position on a statewide ballot measure before.

DOWNLOAD – the text of this opposition message (PDF)

The ballot measure is authored and almost entirely financed by the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York pressure group known for raising money to legalize drugs. The organization’s intention is not to help people get sober and sane, but to legalize harmful and dangerous drugs and dismantle what drug treatment is available in Oregon now.

And they’ve arrived as disruptive opportunists because Oregon’s addiction system is in trouble. We agree. Oregon needs reform. But Measure 110 isn’t reform, and it won’t reduce addiction in Oregon.

Oregon’s addiction epidemic deserves solid focused attention by state leadership to reduce access to street drugs, alcohol, and misuse of pharmaceutical drugs, and to provide substantial medical treatment for both addiction and alcoholism, and build supportive services to help people in early recovery get and stay sober. We don’t believe Measure 110 will do this.

What’s offered by Measure 110 hurts children in two vital ways. First – it will allow children equal protection as adults to possess street drugs, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine. Second, Measure 110 would take $184,000,000 in tax funds from our public schools and successful recovery programs to spend it on assessment and referral centers which Oregon addiction professionals say we do not need.

The Measure is a trove of bad ideas. Just one emblematic example – it would eliminate the sobriety requirement for certified peer mentors. These are people in early recovery credentialed and employed to help others in the first steps of sobriety. If they’re drunk and using they become not only a danger to themselves, but to their co-workers and clients.

It doesn’t take much research or reading to discard Measure 110 as imprudent and unwise. We encourage voters to read the measure for themselves – or try to – and make up their own minds.

The Mental Health Association of Portland joins with its colleagues at Oregon Recovers and the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health in opposing Measure 110.