Oregon recriminalizes drugs after state’s ‘huge mistake’

Gov. Tina Kotek (D-OR) effectively recriminalized drugs in Oregon on Monday after the state’s failed experiment with legalization of most drugs. 

Lawmakers cite problems with the law’s implementation, not the basis of legalization. The 2020 law offered treatment as an alternative penalty for drug possession and lowered criminal penalties. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has seen his city struggle with a rise in homelessness, overdose and fentanyl-related deaths, and businesses leaving downtown, according to a New York Times report.

When Measure 110 passed in 2020, it received wide support in Oregon, notably Portland, where three-quarters of the population voted in favor of the legislation. Wheeler said the proper implementation measures related to treatment as an alternative were not in place.

“There’s no question that the state botched the implementation. And as I say, the timing couldn’t have been worse in
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