Bill that Strengthens New Drug Decriminalization and Treatment Law (Measure 110) Passes Both Chambers


Senate Bill 755, a bill that helps create and solidify a strong Measure 110 program, has passed both legislative chambers after a final vote today by the Oregon House of Representatives. The bill passed the House 39-15 and passed the Senate earlier this session 21-8. SB 755 received bipartisan support in both chambers.

SB 755 strengthens the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act by:

  • Creating access to lifesaving harm reduction and addiction recovery services in all 36 counties;
  • Streamlining processes for courts by sending verification of screening assessments electronically to the jurisdictional court;
  • Requiring that youth to be referred to the juvenile system for assessment and resources, rather than adult court;
  • Requiring the collection of data to better understand and address the needs of local communities; and
  • Designating a specific portion of Measure 110 grant funding to Tribes and other BIPOC communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.

“It is our task as legislators to implement amendments to initiatives that are passed by the voters,” said Senator Floyd Prozanski, who carried the bill and serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation. “SB 755 builds in transparency, data, and safeguards to ensure that this landmark law is properly monitored. This is an opportunity for us to lead not only in our state but in the nation.”

Senator Prozanski further stated that SB 755 is “the result of extensive work by a broad, diverse group of stakeholders and practitioners who met over 21 times during the legislative session. Not all of them were in agreement all the time, but everyone stayed at the table and this comprehensive, bipartisan bill is the result.”

The Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act appeared on the November 2020 ballot as Measure 110. It is a historic new law that decriminalizes personal possession of small amounts of drugs while expanding access to critical addiction services. The law will generate approximately $100 million each year for addiction services — four to six times more than what Oregon currently spends on non-Medicaid funding for those services. It has been called one of the biggest blows to the War on Drugs to date, shifting Oregon from criminalizing addiction to instead approaching it as a health issue while providing the funding for lifesaving addiction recovery services.

“SB 755 is a critical next step in changing a system that has, for over 50 years, harmed people instead of helping them,” said Tera Hurst, Executive Director of the Health Justice Recovery Alliance. “Big structural change like this takes time, and SB 755 creates the blueprint to build the foundation of a successful program.”

“The passage of SB 755, as well as the $20 million in critical funding that was released earlier this spring, illustrates that the legislature and other advocates recognize the gravity of Oregon’s addiction crisis,” said Representative Rob Nosse, Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Services. “Oregon has the fourth-highest addiction rate of all 50 states, and the pandemic has only made things worse. Through the passage of SB 755, we can help assure the success of the law Oregonians voted for overwhelmingly last November.”

“Legislation like SB 755 offers a prime example of why coalitions like ours are so important,” said Shannon Olive, Founder and President of WomenFirst Transition & Referral Center and a member of the Health Justice Recovery Alliance. “Our alliance worked with allies to ensure that the will of the voters was upheld and that any changes brought about by SB 755 would further strengthen, clarify and simplify Measure 110. This advocacy was especially important during the 2021 legislative session where lawmakers had many competing priorities, including addressing wildfire response and the pandemic. We were insistent that Oregon’s addiction crisis should be a key legislative priority. Lawmakers heeded our call, and their strong support for and swift attention to Measure 110 implementation will save lives.”

Governor Brown is expected to sign SB 755 into law no later than 30 days after the legislative session ends. 

About Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act
Oregon’s Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act is part of a growing, global movement to shift to a health-based, treatment-over-punishment model of supporting individuals experiencing Substance Use Disorder. Oregon’s new law expands access to treatment and recovery services and removes unfairly harsh punishments for possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use, so people with addiction can more easily recover. Oregon’s new law does not legalize any drugs. It is an innovative solution to help Oregonians and their families now, at a time when Oregon’s addiction crisis has been growing at an alarming rate. Learn more about how Oregon’s new law works here

About the Health Justice Recovery Alliance
The Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance is a statewide advocacy coalition whose work is focused on successful implementation of the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act (Measure 110). The Alliance works to ensure that the new law centers on the needs of communities most harmed by the War on Drugs: Black, Latinx, Native and tribal communities. The coalition represents more than 75 community-based organizations across the state with deep knowledge and experience, serving and strengthening local communities: medical associations, culturally-specific organizations, labor, harm reduction and recovery providers and advocates, people in recovery and more.