(Patriot.Buzz) – Acknowledging that the state is spiraling out of control after years of Democratic governance, Democratic Oregon Governor Tina Kotek took decisive action in response to a critical situation in Portland.
Specifically, she declared a state of emergency due to the alarming increase in deaths caused by fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous drug. The declaration is significant because some Democratic lawmakers in Oregon are reconsidering a law they passed that decriminalized drugs.
Kotek made the announcement alongside the Mayor of Portland and the Chair of the County. They set up an emergency command center specifically for dealing with drug overdoses. The center will operate for at least 90 days and will focus on responding to and preventing overdoses.
In a formal statement, Kotek highlighted the dire situation, saying, “Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond. The next 90 days will yield unprecedented collaboration and focused resources targeting fentanyl and provide a roadmap for next steps.”
Kotek’s decision follows a recommendation from a Portland task force to improve the situation in the city’s downtown area. The task force suggested creating a specialized center to streamline and enhance how resources are used.
Oregon has been facing a significant challenge with an increase in overdoses, particularly from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The crisis prompted criticism of a law passed in 2020, which decriminalized possessing small quantities of most drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oregon has the third-highest rate of all types of overdose deaths in the United States. In response, a new proposal to partially roll back the decriminalization law is gaining support across political lines in the state Legislature.
The reversal would make possessing certain hard drugs a criminal offense again. Additionally, it would force individuals arrested for drug possession to undergo addiction counseling.