Oregon's Measure 110, passed in 2020 to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs, has made matters in the state "immensely worse," as drugs have climbed steadily, Rep. Cliff Bentz said on Newsmax on Friday.
"The situation has grown much, much worse," the Oregon Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "There are many other reasons, but legalizing small amounts of drugs means that law enforcement is not going to step in to do anything, regardless of the amount of drugs, because they know that trying to prove how much a person has, is going to be impossible."
As a result, "what we have is people using drugs all over the place, and law enforcement doing nothing," said Bentz.
Under the Oregon law, people caught in possession of drugs face minimal charges and a $100 fine, but Bentz said he's spoken with police departments who say, "We don't bother with that anymore" because charges won't be prosecuted because people pay their fines.
Bentz added: "The people that I do talk to have said that Oregon has become a place where you want to go if you want to use drugs. That's what it boils down to, and then find people paying the fine."
Bentz also discussed the growing cost of gasoline in his state and nationally, and said that in addition to looking at those prices, the growing cost of diesel must be examined.
"The cost of diesel is going so high that truckers in Oregon are parking their trucks," said Bentz, adding that owner-operators, in particular, are having a hard time.
"What that means, of course, is that as fuel costs go up, we're going to have more challenges in the grocery stores because goods will not be delivered," he said. "As far as what I think we should be doing, we should be looking at the refineries and saying, Hey, we need to keep them open. In fact, it might make a little sense to actually open a new one."
However, Democrats are "extraordinarily interested" in replacing everything with fossil fuel, "forgetting that about 80% to 85% of what we do relies on fossil fuels, so the trick now is for us to get our refineries back up and running."
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