On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about Measure 110, passed in Oregon in 2020. The law decriminalized the possession and use of small quantities of virtually all hard drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamines. The idea of the law was to change the focus from jailtime to rehabilitation.
The article reports:
The results of this move have been spectacular, provided you were hoping for it to be spectacularly bad. Particularly in cities like Portland, citizens are unable to walk the streets without tripping over addicts who are shooting up or passed out on the sidewalk. This reality has an increasing number of people rethinking the policy and talk of repealing Measure 110 is growing. (Associated Press)
…Decriminalization has now been attempted in multiple American cities and it has failed every single time. There isn’t one place you can point to where decriminalization has resulted in fewer overdose deaths and more people recovering in treatment programs. The opposite is what has happened.
Republicans in Oregon are reportedly pushing the Governor to call a special session to repeal the measure and criminalize both possession and public drug use. They are also asking for rehabilitation treatment to be mandatory instead of voluntary as it is now. The second part of that proposal is probably doomed to failure, however. It’s almost impossible to force someone into an addiction treatment program if they aren’t ready to seek help for themselves. If you do that, they’ll probably just be biding their time until they are released and can go search for their next fix.
Every parent knows that it is easier to ignore your child’s bad behavior than to deal with it. However, at some point you have to deal with it and the sooner you deal with it, the easier it will be. Somehow our ‘public servants’ have never grasped this concept.
The article concludes:
This was always predictable, or at least it should have been. When you remove the disincentive for a particular behavior and make it easier to engage in that behavior, you’re going to wind up with more of it. Given the addictive nature of the drugs in question, once the line has been crossed it’s very difficult to walk it back. The rise in homelessness was also a predictable result. If people with jobs become addicted to opioids, their performance at work will begin to go downhill. When they eventually lose their jobs, they have little else to occupy their time beyond looking to score drugs. Unable to pay the rent, they eventually wind up out in the street. This really shouldn’t be confusing to any of these politicians. The only question now is whether they can find the intestinal fortitude to admit their error and try to put the state back on an even keel.
Let’s learn from out mistakes!