Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize all drugs in 2001. Oregon’s Measure 110 followed that example, but experts say it’s not close enough.

Author: Pat Dooris, Jamie Parfitt

Published: 5:29 PM PST November 15, 2022

Updated: 7:57 PM PST November 15, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — In the November 2020 election, Oregon voters approved a revolutionary approach to criminal justice and drug policy. Measure 110 decriminalized user amounts of narcotics while directing taxes levied on the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry toward expanded drug treatment programs.

The closest example Measure 110 supporters had to draw from on the world stage when drafting the initiative was the country of Portugal, which decriminalized small amounts of all drugs in 2001.

Objectively, the first two years under Measure 110 have not gone smoothly. Though drug decriminalization went into effect just a few months after voters approved the measure, state officials did not succeed in fully distributing funds for addiction recovery programs until this September. 

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