In 2019, 280 people died of a drug overdose in Oregon. Fatalities rose every year after, more than tripling by 2022, when 956 died. And last year, even more people died, according to preliminary data. Each month the number has been higher than the previous year, reaching 628 in June. The state is still compiling data for 2023, but if the trends continue, the total would reach 1,250 needless deaths from an overdose.
Measure 110 made illicit drug possession in low quantities a $100 fine. I continue to contend that the potent individual freedom argument—that an adult should generally be free to do to themselves what they want—falls in the face of addictive substances. There’s no free will when you’re physically addicted to a drug; yours is no longer a free choice.
Personally, I would like to see Measure 110 on the ballot again to confirm with Oregon voters that, now that they’ve seen the consequences of their vote, they still want society to operate this way. I doubt that they do.
[As I often do, I will note also that the Oregon Capital Chronicle is a leftwing publication. If this is what the leftwing is saying, you know it’s bad out there.]