Oregon Voters Want To Repeal Drug Decriminalization, Poll Finds

Homeless camp tents in northeast Portland (Wikimedia Commons)
August 28, 2023

A new poll shows Oregon residents want to repeal the law they voted to enact less than three years ago that instituted drug decriminalization.

Oregon in 2020 passed by referendum a ballot measure, Measure 110, that downgraded the penalty for the use of hard drugs, such as heroin and methamphetamine, to a small fine. The law has resulted in increased public use of hard drugs in Oregon. Fentanyl-related fatalities are up 210 percent since 2020, according to state authorities.

Now residents wish to undo the measure, according to a poll this month from Emerson College. Given the choice between leaving the policy in place or a full repeal, 56 percent of respondents said they would choose the latter. When asked if they would leave it in place or repeal parts of the measure, 64 percent chose a partial repeal.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said the state is headed in the wrong direction, while 42 percent said it's going the right way.

The poll comes two months after a Wall Street Journal report found that Portland residents are fleeing at record rates because of rising homelessness and crime.

Portland lost nearly 3 percent of its population between 2020 and 2022, U.S. Census data show. The city's population had risen 23 percent in the 20 years prior to the pandemic.

Published under: Oregon