Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Sept 23, 2023
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
A little of this and a little of that. Issues effecting everyday life.
Does not look like Central Oregon will get a new city in the near future.
Proposed City of Mountain View struck down by Deschutes County commissioners Central Oregon Daily Sept 20, 2023
“There’s really no downtown crossroads area where there is density. There’s no rural commercial center with multiple houses and buildings,” DeBone said.
State law says the petition for the proposed city needs at least 150 residents. It’s why petitioner Andrew Aasen expanded potential city limits to 265 square miles — eight times the land size of the City of Bend.
“Also, the finances. Where do you come up with current existing taxable buildings or commercial activity. How do you start creating a tax base?” DeBone said.
Although the board rejected this proposal, DeBone is optimistic about the future of the former Millican and its surrounding area.
“We don’t talk about creating a new city very often anywhere in the state of Oregon,” DeBone said. “It’s exciting to be even able to dream about what’s possible.”
Aasen, the petitioner, told Central Oregon Daily he does not plan to appeal the decision. He says he will now focus his time trying to get grant money to improve fire and emergency services for the area.
The trend of legalizing drug possession and use as an attempt to minimize harm to individuals and society may be shifting. A major difficulty is how to induce individual to enter a treatment program after life spins out of control. Is it the responsibility of family, friends, community or governments?
Deschutes Co. Jail program aims to stop revolving door of addicted inmates (6z;45 min)
In Oregon the public initiative process is once again being used to let voters have the opportunity to change state laws.
Effort to Recriminalize Drug Possession in Oregon Gets Underway Stop the Drug War Sept 22, 2023
In November 2020, voters in Oregon made history by becoming the first in the country to break with a century of drug war by approving the decriminalization of drug possession. Measure 110 not only put an end to thousands of low-level drug arrests, it also provided hundreds of millions of dollars for drug treatment, prevention, and related services by tapping into marijuana tax revenues--$300 million so far.
And now, an effort is underway to roll back the clock. This week, a group of political operatives and deep-pocketed donors calling themselves the Coalition to Fix and Improve Measure 110 filed a pair of proposed ballot initiatives, Fix and Improve Measure 110-Measure A and Fix and Improve Measure 110-Measure B, would once again make drug possession a crime, as well as making changes on the treatment side of the ledger.
The possession of drugs such as cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine would be a misdemeanor, and there would be a new misdemeanor of public drug consumption of illicit drugs. Version "B" of the initiative would also increase penalties for some drug offenses, such as where drug use causes death or when the offender is a repeat offender. That version would also make possession of pill-making machines a felony offense.
The latter version would also shift control of Measure 110 funds from the Oregon Health Authority, which has been criticized for the slow implementation of the treatment and recovery programs, to the Alcohol and Drugs Policy Commission.
a poll last month commissioned by the coalition had 56 percent supporting repeal of Measure 110 in its entirety and 64 percent in favor of reverting to drug criminalization. The pollsters found that respondents blamed Measure 110 for rising homelessness (54 percent) and decreased public safety (50 percent), although homelessness levels are driven largely by rental prices and although Portland ranks roughly even with other Pacific Northwest cities, such as Boise, Sacramento, and Seattle, when it comes to crime.
Numbers like that have the state's Democratic political leaders taking a very cautious line on the initiative proposals.
Have not seen where the Seattle mayor, in Washington state, has signed the bill changing local drug laws.
Seattle City Council changes course, passes drug enforcement bill The Seattle Times Sept 19, 2023
After a summer debating a contentious drug enforcement bill, the Seattle City Council reversed course Tuesday, voting 6-3 to allow the City Attorney’s Office to prosecute knowing possession and public use of illicit drugs.
The council adopted a state bill into the city’s criminal code that allows the city to pursue new state charges for both offenses in an effort to combat public consumption of drugs. Over the last three years, the use of fentanyl and other drugs on public transit and in other public places has become more prevalent.
The controversial bill — which permits City Attorney Ann Davison to pursue gross misdemeanor charges for public drug use and possession — cleared the council after months of discussion, following a 5-4 vote against an earlier version of the bill in June.
Portugal - The original inspiration to decriminalize drugs.
Is Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization a Failure or Success? The Answer Isn’t So Simple Knowledge at Wharton Sept 5, 2023
Portugal had a drug addiction problem. A big one. To address it, the country engaged in systemic change in 2001 and achieved dramatically positive results. Today, Portugal has returned to the news due to a significant, though not total, return of its drug problem and the appearance of related experimental programs elsewhere such as in Portland, OR.
First and foremost: Portugal defined addiction as an illness. Second, Portugal eliminated the distinction between hard and soft drugs. Third, Portugal concentrated on an individual’s unhealthy relationship with drugs and the likely accompanying frayed connections between the addict, others, and the world at large.
Two forces have led to the at least partial unraveling of Portugal’s efforts over the last few years and, predictably, to less favorable results. First, global drug traffickers continued to use Portugal as an entry point for access to Europe’s illegal drug market dealers. They battered the entry points of this coastal country, hence a supply of illegal drugs continued. Second, Portugal reduced resourcing of its programs as the country faced multiple difficult economic years.
The financial crisis of 2007–2008 led to program cuts, held to 10% due to continued bipartisan support, initial successes, and demonstrated long-term benefits. Still, significant program (system aspects/levers) compromises occurred, e.g., the extent of research and measurement of results. Ongoing ripple effects followed from cost-cutting through the elimination of government assistance for employing recovering users (often in smaller businesses), which hamstrung efforts to reintegrate users into society (and contributed to the closing of numerous small companies.)
Funding ebbed still more recently due to new national budget pressures, which undercut efforts encouraging addicts into rehabilitation programs. The results of “disinvestment” and “a freezing in [their] response” led Goulão to state that “what we have today no longer serves as an example to anyone.”
The number of Portuguese adults who reported prior use of illicit adult drugs rose from 7.8% in 2001 to 12.8% in 2022 — still below European averages but a significant rise nonetheless. Overdose rates now stand at a 12-year high and have doubled in Lisbon since 2019.
A little good news on food prices for the world.
‘Exceptional’ Russian harvest lowers global wheat prices – FT Russia Times Sept 23, 2023
Wheat prices have declined to a three-year low due to an “exceptionally strong” yield in Russia, which is helping to fill the export gap left by the shortfall from Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Prices have dropped by more than a fifth since the end of July as Russia’s wheat export outlook has been upgraded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to 48 million tons slated for foreign sales.
The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current Ukraine/Russia conflict and this week COVID. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner. The link opens in the LIVE column, occasionally an interview only appears in VIDEOS section.
Keeping life in perspective and staying safe.
Most Dangerous Activity For People Over 55 (7.47 min)
What is on your mind today?