Portland Mayor Tom Potter has sent a message to Portlanders asking for their help in lobbying the legislature for increased funding for drug and alcohol treatment.
Here's the note, in its entirety:
Portland and all of Oregon needs your help in fighting the escalating problems of alcohol and drug addiction.
Our children are experimenting with drugs and alcohol in record numbers, and use among Oregon eighth graders is nearly twice the national average. There is a clear and established relationship between alcohol use and drug addiction, and yet 204,000 Oregonians who needed treatment for alcohol dependence last year did not receive it, while 85,000 drug users had access to insufficient services. That helps explain why approximately three-quarters of the inmates admitted to Multnomah County jails have tested positive for drug use, and the number of Meth labs seized locally doubled last year.
I need your help right now to stop this. I’m asking you to write your State Representative to have them support Senate Bill 1049. SB1049 will direct revenues from a new fee on the sale of beer and other malt liquor beverages toward funding treatment, education, prevention and law enforcement programs related to drug and alcohol abuse. It would generate as much as $83 million for the state annually, with about $16 million going to fund programs in Multnomah County.
This program won’t hurt small, local microbreweries, which will be exempted from the fee. Instead, it will largely be paid by out-of-state corporations who haven’t had a fee hike in nearly 30 years. And the funds generated can only be used for drug and alcohol treatment programs that are locally controlled.
Please take a moment to write to your state legislator and encourage them to support SB 1049. Through the links below, you can identify the state senator and/or representative from your district, use and edit our pre-prepared message supporting SB 1049 or create your own, and quickly and easily email it to your state legislators. Make sure to add the name of the representative or senator that you are writing at the top of the letter, and your name at the bottom. Also, remember that this is bill is in the state legislature, not the federal legislature.
Oregon’s legislature is due to adjourn in as little as thirty days. It is critical that SB 1049 pass before that time so that we can begin to effectively address the issues of substance abuse facing our city and state!