The cart before the horse

I voted against legalizing street drugs in Oregon, because I knew that we didn't have anywhere near enough addiction treatment facilities. Removing the criminal sanction from hard drug use can only lead to more users, and we weren't even treating the users we already had when possession was a felony.

Well, the legalization measure passed, and guess what. Not only are we not adding more treatment facilities, but apparently we're also losing what treatment facilities we had before the vote. Nigel Jaquiss reports in the Weed:

In a letter earlier this month to Gov. Kate Brown, 22 Oregon leaders in substance abuse treatment warned that at least 12 treatment providers are closing.

The Sept. 2 letter, from the advocacy group Oregon Recovers and others, blames the exodus on the slow distribution of funds from Measure 110, which decriminalized most hard drugs.

Decriminalization went into effect Feb. 1. The measure provided funding for new addiction treatment services. It would divert state cannabis tax revenues from existing uses (K-12 education and county services) to new access to treatment. But there was a built-in time lag: The deadline for the new services to come online is Oct. 1, eight months after decriminalization.

That measure was not a good thing. It was just wishful thinking on the part of some ideologues. The same kind of thinking that brings us elected officials like Chloe Eudaly and Jo Ann Hardesty. And Donald Trump, for that matter. In government, at least, weird isn't working.


  1. Hooray more treatment beds! I hate to poke at your presumption that treatment as we deliver it our conventional treatment program works effectively and has good outcomes. It doesn't its colossal failure. How many times should the Medicaid program pay for failed treatment for each consumer? 2x? 5x? It fails because trauma and disassociation are fundamental challenges to recovery. You think that cognitive and intellectual lectures and group sharing are gonna fix that? Nope. Please read up on co regulation and the nervous system.

    1. With experts like you to correct me, I feel like I don't need to "read up" on anything.



  4. As someone who had his own issues with such things, treatment only works if the user wants to be clean or sober. It’s not some magical treatment like going in for an appendectomy, and it’s successful, and then you’re cured.

    If someone asks for it, or if they are a minor and their parents force them into it then yes. Otherwise it just turns into a rather costly revolving door.

  5. Well I am glad that you did vote against that measure Jack. Was that on the same ballot as the psilocybin measure? I didn’t vote on that one, but if I had I would had voted no on both for sure. That’s all Oregon needs is MORE drugs right? Crazy.

    I had a young lady who was canvassing for the “mushroom measure” accost me at a Whole Foods as she went on with her long spiel about how great mushrooms were. After she was done I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I was doing vast quantities of them and even growing them before she was even born.

  6. I had an opportunity to see some municipal court statistics on M110 citations. Of the 53 cases cases filed, only 3 people chose to complete the "assessment" and got their cases dismissed. 41 people failed to appear, 2 had their cases dismissed by the officer and the rest just plead guilty and paid the fine. What a miserable failure.


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