Oregon Legislature votes to re-criminalize hard drugs

Portland Police Bureau Narcotics and Organized Crime HIDTA Interdiction TaskForce seized 49 pounds of counterfeit M30 pills that contained Fentanyl in January. NOC-HIT was assisted by Oregon State Police drug detection K9 Max, shown above.

Oregon is learning the hard way with anything-goes policies for street drugs. Both the Oregon House and Senate voted this week to undo some of the more troubling aspects of the state’s liberal drug law, Measure 110, which voters approved in 2020 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of hardcore street drugs.

House Bill 4002 restores misdemeanor penalties for drug possession and allows cities and counties to divert users into treatment programs or face up to six months in jail. The bill had bipartisan support and was the result of months of legislative work. Most provisions in the law will take effect immediately because of the bill’s emergency clause.

In January, the city of Portland declared a state of emergency over fentanyl usage in downtown Portland.

Democrat Gov. Tina Kotek has not said whether she will sign the bill. She said changes to the underlying citizen initiative “would have to pass the balancing test of concrete, measurable improved outcomes for individuals who are struggling with addiction and accountability.”

Oregon drug users are dying in record numbers, according to official data. In 2019 there were 280 unintentional opioid overdose deaths, and by the end of 2022, the number had exploded to 956. Numbers are not yet compiled for 2023, but are expected to increase from the 628 known deaths; the number of opioid overdose visits to Oregon emergency departments in 2023 are higher than previous years, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

In Alaska, 633 overdose deaths involving opioids were recorded between 2018 and 2022 (about 127 per year). Then in 2021, that number jumped to 198, and in 2022. Overall overdose deaths in Alaska reached 255 in 2021, and 247 in 2022.


  1. Really amazing how stupid people can be. These are the best that can be found to lead a state, pathetic.

    • That’s what I say this is the best we have?
      This country is gone as the upcoming politicians and their well thought out ideas are not working.
      Stupid rules by stupid people.

  2. This started in the mid 80’s when Oregon/Portland made possession of heroin a citable offense, like a traffic ticket because it was considered a victimless crime. How the worm turns when reality slaps you in the face. But liberals will drag their feet on any return to criminalization just because.

  3. “…….and allows cities and counties to divert users into treatment programs or face up to six months in jail………”
    There’s a baby step in the right direction. Make it mandatory treatment or five years in prison (defacto abstinance)and life in prison for recurring use, and things can improve.

  4. Shouldn’t we want the pro drug status quo on this? So God/Darwin can thin the herd.
    If they continue to kill themselves & remain childless that’s less leftist voters in the long run.
    Maybe Oregon could become a sane conservative State again.

  5. This needed to play out so folks could get a better idea how insane the initiative was to legalize hard drug use on the streets . Too bad as it should continue for at least ten more years until the last sane person moved out of downtown Portland . Very disappointed this crazy idea did not work out for the folks living in tents on the sidewalk and crapping all over . What’s our society coming to when you can’t shoot yourself up on the sidewalk and take a dump on the street ? City of Anchorage needs to move the ball forward and legalize heroin use on the downtown streets as they’ve already got the street poopers in place . Just one more step to create total chaos .

  6. “…….The Mao Zedong government is generally credited with eradicating both consumption and production of opium during the 1950s using unrestrained repression and social reform.[50][51] Ten million addicts were forced into compulsory treatment, dealers were executed, and opium-producing regions were planted with new crops. Remaining opium production shifted south of the Chinese border into the Golden Triangle region. The remnant opium trade primarily served Southeast Asia, but spread to American soldiers during the Vietnam War, with 20 percent of soldiers regarding themselves as addicted during the peak of the epidemic in 1971. In 2003, China was estimated to have four million regular drug users and one million registered drug addicts………”
    Americans can’t “force compulsory treatment” or “execute” illegal dealers unless and until we can bring our lawyers and courts under social control, and stop them from controling society.

  7. It was much better drug operation fifteen years ago when the pharmaceutical industry was running the Heroin trade out of the pharmacy’s . Screw the Chinese and the fentanyl operation at the southern border. Way cleaner operation when you could walk into pharmacy and get a 100 pills with a script for OxyContin. What’s this world coming too ? Let’s put DC and the govt regulators back in charge of the drug operation.

Comments are closed.