Measure Reduces Black Arrests by 94%

October 22, 2020

A proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot to decriminalize drug offenses in Oregon and provide drug treatment alternatives would reduce drug arrests of Black Oregonians by 94%.

If Measure 110 is adopted, it would nearly eliminate racial disparities in drug arrests in the state, according to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, the state agency that audits the criminal punishment system.

For the first time, the racial and ethnic impacts of a proposed ballot measure were included in a description of Measure 110 in the Oregon’s Voter’s Pamphlet.

Lawmakers have had the ability to request a racial impact statement on proposed ballot measures since 2014, officials said, but this year, the Yes on 110 campaign said it was successful in getting lawmakers to put it out before voters.

The impact statement says that overall racial disparities in drug arrests will drop by 95% if Oregon voters pass Measure 110. Convictions of Black and Indigenous Oregonians would drop by 94%.

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