PORTLAND, Ore. – District Attorney Mike Schmidt on Thursday issued the following statement on Ballot Measure 110, and announced the immediate implementation of reforms related to how Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) cases will be handled in Multnomah County.
“The passage of Ballot Measure 110 sends a clear message of strong public support that drug use should be treated as a public health matter rather than a criminal justice matter. Past punitive drug policies and laws resulted in over-policing of diverse communities, heavy reliance on correctional facilities and a failure to promote public safety and health. It’s time to move beyond these failed practices, expand access to treatment and focus our limited law enforcement resources to target high-level, commercial drug offenses,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
Under Ballot Measure 110, people will no longer be arrested and jailed for the possession of small amounts of drugs. Instead, they will get the opportunity for a health assessment and be connected to treatment or recovery services, including housing assistance.
Because of the strong public support for Ballot Measure 110 and the need to conserve scarce law enforcement resources during a time of competing demands, the district attorney’s office will immediately change its practices relating to the handling of cases that contain a PCS charge.
Ballot Measure 110 does not decriminalize the manufacturing or selling of drugs nor the possession of large quantities of drugs. Commercial drug offenses will still be prosecuted and issued as a felony crime by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.