Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 110 on November 3, 2020. The measure decriminalized possession of a “personal amount” of drugs. It is the first of its kind in the United States. It is significant because it recognizes the shift in the way our community views addiction. Measure 110 treats drug use as a public health, not a criminal, issue.
Before Measure 110, possession of small amounts of drugs was a crime. The criminal penalties included probation, fees, drug evaluation and treatment, and jail time. People who relapsed and used drugs during probation were often jailed for violating probation and were sometimes charged with a new crime of PCS.
What does Measure 110 mean for Oregonians?
Measure 110, which goes into effect February 1, 2021, reclassifies personal amount PCS cases as Class E civil violations. This means a judge cannot impose any jail time or probations sentence upon conviction. The maximum penalty is a $100 fine. The fine can be avoided by completing a health assessment and providing proof of completion to the court within 45 days of the citation.
The state is still working out the details of the assessment. Measure 110 instructs the Oregon Health Authority to set up Addiction Recovery Centers (ARCs) no later than October 1, 2021. Until the ARCs are set up, people may complete their health assessments through a temporary telephone ARC. The telephone assessment will still need to be completed, with proof provided to the court within 45 days of the citation.
If you choose not to do the health assessment, the fine is $100. The court may not impose any additional penalties or jail time for failure to pay the fine. This fine is similar to a parking ticket or other violation.