Drug measures, Senate race top Oregon's ballot
Voters in Oregon are deciding two high-profile drug measures and a U.S. Senate race while people in Portland choose a mayor in a race that has drawn national attention amid ongoing protests in the state's largest city. Here's a look at major races in the Oregon:
— 109 (Mushrooms)
This ballot question would legalize controlled therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms. Backers of Measure 109 say the state, which was the first in the nation to decriminalize marijuana, should lead the way in legalizing regulated use of psilocybin, often referred to as magic mushrooms.
— 110 (Decriminalization)
Measure 110 would decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, LSD, oxycodone and some other drugs. The backers of Measure 110 said drug addiction is a health issue and should not cause people to be imprisoned and saddled with criminal records. The ballot question received a $500,000 donation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, who favor a health-based approach to drug addiction. About two dozen district attorneys in Oregon had urged a no vote on Measure 110.
— 108 (Cigarette tax)
This measure would increase Oregon’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack — from $1.33 to $3.33 — bump up the cap on cigar taxes to $1 per cigar and add a 65% tax on electronic cigarettes and vaping products, which are not currently taxed. The funds from the tax increase would be used for public health programs including smoking prevention and cessation programs. The projected new annual revenue is about $130 million.
— 107 (Political contributions)
Measure 107 would amend the Oregon Constitution and allow for the state, counties and cities to place limitations on political contributions and expenditures, require disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures and allow rules requiring campaigns to be transparent about who paid for political advertisements. Currently, there is no limit in contributions to candidates or ballot measures.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley faces Republican Jo Rae Perkins. Merkley is seeking his third term. Perkins drew attention earlier this year when she made references to QAnon, including saying that she stood with “Q” and holding up a QAnon sticker. QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory that claims a shadowy cabal of liberal elites who are Satan-worshipping pedophiles runs a global child sex-trafficking ring.
Mayor Ted Wheeler faces a challenge from the left from Sarah Iannarone. Months of protests against racial injustice and police violence have made Portland national news and President Donald Trump routinely derides Wheeler as a weak liberal unable to stop unrest in his “anarchist” city. Iannarone supports $50 million in law enforcement cuts and slams her opponent for what she describes as an aggressive police force.