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 a residential and outpatient facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in a home-like, restorative setting. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause substance use, such as trauma, unhealthy relationships, co-occurring disorders and isolation. Programs include both in-person and telehealth: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), education and relapse prevention classes, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups. At Sanford, we want to inspire you to find your inner grit, rekindle your interests and engage your passion.