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Series on drugs from Northwest News Network.

Measure To Decriminalize Most Drugs Could Go Before Voters

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A statewide campaign has been launched for a ballot initiative that would de-criminalize possession of most drugs and create addiction recovery centers throughout Oregon.

A federal study finds Oregon has the highest percentage of people who need treatment but can’t get it.

The Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020 (or Initiative Petition 44) proposes using tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund drug treatment, peer support and housing.

Anthony Johnson is Chief Petitioner of IP44. He explains how the proposed funding could come in.

“The state projected that marijuana tax revenue would bring in up to $40 million dollars maximum,” Johnson says. “Well, we’ve now exceeded $100 million dollars so we have this excess tax revenue that can be utilized for other things.”

Johnson, who was the executive director of Oregon’s successful campaign to legalize marijuana in 2014, says IP44 has a list of endorsements and no “organized opposition” -- yet.  

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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