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News Release
DA Mike Schmidt Testifies in Favor of Sweeping Policy Package to Address Addiction and Drug Dealing - 02/26/24

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office was a lead stakeholder in finalizing the policy package

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt testified in Salem before the Joint Committee On Addiction and Community Safety Response in support of House Bill 4002.

“What we have seen over the last few years as fentanyl has hit the West Coast is unacceptable, and we need to take action to help those struggling with addiction,” said DA Schmidt in his testimony. “In Portland, we see open use of hard drugs on our streets – in front of our businesses, our parks, and our schools. We absolutely cannot continue to tolerate this. We can approach addiction as the health issue it is, while also holding people accountable for how they impact our community.”

In his testimony, DA Schmidt outlined what he saw as positives in the bill, including several chances for a person charged with possession of a controlled substance to avoid incarceration if they take part in treatment; measures to prevent drug charges from becoming barriers to housing, employment, and immigration status; tougher laws to help police catch and charge drug dealers; and new addiction treatment resources, such as $25 million for a 24/7 detox center in Multnomah County.

DA Schmidt also affirmed his commitment to prioritize treatment over incarceration. “The 24 hour drop-off center will be a game changer for Multnomah County in connecting people with treatment. I am incredibly supportive of the provisions of this legislation that will lay the foundation for prosecutors across Oregon to say that treatment should always come first,” said DA Schmidt.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office was a key stakeholder who contributed to the crafting of the final policy package. During the hearing, Joint Committee On Addiction and Community Safety Response Co-Chair Jason Kropf (D- Bend) thanked DA Schmidt for his leadership on the issue, saying, “Thank you for your office’s help as we have, primarily, tried to figure out what a deflection program could look like, what diversion could look like, and I would say most importantly, what an automated expungement process could look like.”

The DA thanks the legislature, as well as all of the policy experts and community members, who were a part of the process.

You can read the full text of DA Schmidt's testimony online.


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