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Editor’s note: The following column is adapted from the author’s new book, “What’s Killing America” (Center Street, September 26)
In the past few years, Oregon and Washington have effectively legalized drugs as part of the Black Lives Matter movement’s criminal justice reforms. It’s been an abject failure, taking thousands of lives. Now, voters say they’ve had enough. But will anything actually change?
In the once vibrant cities of Portland and Seattle, radical left activists and politicians spearheaded campaigns to remove police – and the greater criminal justice system – from drug enforcement. Buoyed by anti-police sentiment in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the Radical Left were able to convince voters in the Pacific Northwest to green light drug decriminalization.
Three years later, voters are demanding a return to drug enforcement.
A recent survey by Emerson College Polling found that 56% of Oregon voters want to completely repeal Measure 110, which legalized the personal possession of illicit substances statewide. Similarly, 60% of Seattle voters support arresting for public use, having experienced the brunt of the historic rise in fatal overdoses thanks to Democrats in