European Trip for Officials by Soros Funded, Addiction Industry-Aligned Group is Desperate Attempt to Save Measure 110

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Following media reports that a George Soros-funded group, aligned with the addiction industry, is sending Oregon officials to Portugal on a “fact-finding trip,” Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS) President and former Obama White House drug policy advisor Dr. Kevin Sabet released the following statement. A recent poll commissioned by FDPS and conducted by Emerson College Polling showed a majority of Oregonians believe Measure 110, which decriminalized hard drugs, should be repealed and has made the addiction crisis worse: 

“Oregon’s voters have made it clear they view the state’s pro-drug policies as a failure and they want them repealed. Now the addiction industry is scrambling to save their harmful agenda by sending Oregon elected officials on a junket to Europe. The data and the science are clear, more drugs will not somehow magically make things better. It’s par for the course for an industry that’s built its business model on ignoring facts to make profits off of people’s suffering.”

“Oregonians don’t need to travel 5,000 miles to know that Portugal did not simply decriminalize hard drugs. It established new incentives for seeking help, including sending those suffering from addiction to a special commission that tries to get them into treatment. Additionally, if drug users in Portugal do not cooperate or they show serious addiction issues, the commission can impose penalties. It is a carrot-and-stick approach that Oregon has failed to implement. Portugal requires mandatory assessments for those found to be using drugs, and those drugs are confiscated at the time of citation – the total opposite from Oregon’s approach. Most importantly, Portugal places heavy, social and legal pressure on people to seek treatment. The open use and flagrant drug dealing that we see in West Coast cities in the U.S. are virtually absent in Portugal, which uses legal pressure to shut down dealers and get addicts into treatment. Oregon has no such penalties.”

“Oregon’s elected officials don’t need trips to Europe in the middle of a drug crisis that’s claiming lives. They need to reject this fantasy that they can salvage bad policy and embrace getting people off drugs, even though investors won’t go down quietly.”