Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure Is Already Funding Expanded Treatment Programs

MJ moment

Oregon voters’ decision to decriminalize drug possession last year is already helping to increase access to substance misuse treatment and harm reduction programs, as well as employment and housing services. Earlier this year, lawmakers agreed to expedited release of about $20 million in funding under the voter-approved initiative, and now regulators and advocates have approved grant applications for 48 community-based organizations and government agencies. An 18-person evaluation committee comprised of members from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Department of Health Services and a Measure 110 oversight council reviewed 114 grant proposals and approved about half of them. Among the recipients are Black Mental Health Oregon, Medicine Wheel Recovery Services and Addictions Recovery Center. OHA is receiving $1.7 million of the funds to support the administrative costs of implementing Measure 110. Tribal groups are getting $2.9 million. Addiction recovery and harm reduction programs that are already contracted with the state will receive $6.4 million in grant extensions. And $8.9 million will fund “proposals that most closely aligned with the priorities and values” of the decriminalization campaign. “We feel privileged and grateful to be included in this first round of Measure 110 grant funding, which will allow us to enact phase one of the expansion of our Engagement and Mobile Response team,” Lori Paris, executive director of Addictions Recovery Center, said in a press release. “Expanding this trauma-informed and culturally responsive team is necessary to further reflect the cultural and linguistic makeup of our community, and adequately meet the specific needs of those we serve.” Larry Turner, executive director of Fresh Out Community-Based Re-entry Program, said that the funds “can help us address the racist War on Drugs’ disproportionate impact on Black and Brown people by providing housing for Black individuals transitioning out of incarceration, and allowing us to hire additional…

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Source : Oregon Drug Decriminalization Measure Is Already Funding Expanded Treatment Programs

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