“We celebrate the massive community investment that this law is making possible,” said Tera Hurst the executive director of the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance.
Measure 110 opened the door for millions of dollars in funding for addiction services. Now that money will go toward expanding overdose prevention services across the state of Oregon.
When the measure passed nearly two years ago it decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs like heroin, cocaine and opioid pills. Funds from the state’s marijuana tax go directly to setting up treatment centers across the state. Hurst said it’s already savings lives.
“The Oregon Health Authority reported in only six months with early Measure 110 funding providers were able to provide more than 16 thousand people to receive care,” Hurst said.
Steve Allen the Behavioral Health Director at OHA called Tuesday’s announcement a turning point for the state.
“These service networks now exist in every Oregon county, they offer an array of community based services,” said Allen.
More than 300 million dollars will be spread through the 36 counties across Oregon. The measure has faced criticism for not releasing the funds sooner.
In June, an audit found that only a fraction of the funding for treatment centers had been sent out.
Critics of Measure 110 still argue decriminalization has left to more drugs on the streets.