Ore. police blame decriminalization on increase in street drugs, crime

Police say the streets have become more dangerous since Oregon's passing of Measure 110

By Police1 Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — Law enforcement officials in Oregon say they’re seeing an increase in street drugs and crime that they believe is tied to recent decriminalization legislation

According to KOBI 5, police say the streets have become more dangerous since Oregon’s passing of Measure 110. The law reduced criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine in an effort to treat drug use as a health issue instead of a law enforcement issue. The measure also called for an increase in treatment centers across the state. 

Some LEOs say the measure can be attributed to an increase in drug activity that has also led to increases in criminal activity, such as at a motel KOBI 5 watched police conduct surveillance on during a ridealong. 

“It’s been a constant source of complaints, ranging from assaults to prostitution to drug dealing. Drug dealing is kind of driving the complaints there,” Sgt. Matt Ferguson of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told KOBI 5.

RELATED: The de-criminalization of street drugs and narcotics

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