Oregon Decriminalizes Drug Possession – WZZM13 Interview

decriminalization drug possession

Sanford’s Rae Green on the steps of Sanford Admissions & Outreach building.


Thanks to Alana Holland and WZZM13 News for their informed interview with Sanford Founder, Rae Green regarding Oregon’s Measure 110. After Tuesday’s election, Oregon will be the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize drug possession. Oregon Measure 110, Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative (2020), will make personal non-commercial possession of a controlled substance no more than a Class E violation.


This is a very progressive move. Because we’re taking the disease of substance use disorder out of the realm of crime and putting it in public health… offering an opportunity to choose a different route, can be a real game changer. 

Rae Green, Founder and President, Sanford Addiction Treatment Centers


What is Measure 110?

The measure reclassifies personal non-commercial drug possession offenses. Therefore, possession of small amounts of substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine (e.g., 1 gram of heroin), will result in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment. Addiction treatment/recovery centers conduct these health assessments. And they include a substance use disorder (SUD) screening by a certified alcohol and drug counselor.


Resultant drug addiction treatment and recovery programs will be funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings. Prior to Measure 110, the penalty for drug possession in Oregon was a Class A misdemeanor. This penalty carried a one-year prison term and $6,250 fine. Despite changes, the manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs is still subject to criminal penalty.


Watch the interview with Rae Green:


Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit www.sanfordbehavioralhealth.com.