Decriminalization a Disaster in a Growing Number of Cities…

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but treatment retains promise of hope.

Oregon’s bold experiment in decriminalizing possession of heroin, meth, cocaine and fentanyl — and investing marijuana tax money into expanded addiction treatment, in hopes of shifting the emphasis for users from punishment to rehabilitation — was widely heralded at the time.

The delivery vehicle, Measure 110, drew support from just under 58.5% of voters in the November 2020 general election, dwarfing the 41.5% opposition. It virtually swept the valley and coast on its way to carrying 17 of the state’s 36 counties, including rural, Republican-leaning Yamhill.

Though there may have been others, we can find record of only four newspapers in opposition, the McMinnville News-Register, Bend Bulletin, Medford Mail Tribune and Pendleton East Oregonian. The Portland media, which reached vastly more readers, were united in support.

Funding was even more lopsided, supporters raising almost $5.5 million in cash, compared to just $165,140 for opponents.

And today? Not so much.

A recent survey by DHM Research found 63% of respondents favoring the same remedial approach we do — reinstatement of criminal sanctions for possession of hard drugs, coupled with retention of the measure’s other main thrust, creation of a new state revenue stream to enhance addition recovery efforts. A separate survey by Emerson Polling pegged it at 64%.

The nub of the issue is this: Without threat of painful criminal sanctions, users have insufficient incentive to seek treatment. Evidence strongly suggests that external motivation is required in the vast majority of cases. For complete story  (

The Battle for San Francisco

San Francisco, for decades known around the world for its jazz, free love and beat poetry, has in recent years become notorious for a different reason. Tent encampments on its streets and open-air drug markets have become a reference point for the consequences of ultra-progressive policies.

Florence Read and Freddie Sayers took a film crew (and an armed security guard) into the Tenderloin district to find out the truth for themselves. This special report includes remarkable interviews with city supervisor Dean Preston and Michael Shellenberger, author of San Fransicko, as well as drug users, locals and activists across the West.

Their report dives into the ideological and practical battles at the heart of the story, and asks whether San Francisco today could be a harbinger of things to come across the Western world. (for complete story  UnHerd)

Also see

  1. The Latest Casualty of Bad Drug Policy – Harm Reduction that Isn’t!
  2. “There’s NOTHING Compassionate About Letting Someone ‘Stew’ in Their Addiction!”
  3. Second-Hand Drug Use: Beyond Toxic