Logo for Diane Rehm: On My Mind

Diane Rehm: On My Mind

WAMU 88.5

Diane Rehm’s weekly podcast features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.

Copyright WAMU 88.5 American University Radio - For Personal Use Only

Diane Rehm’s weekly podcast features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues she cares about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.

Copyright WAMU 88.5 American University Radio - For Personal Use Only

The Fight Over Decriminalization In Oregon And The Future Of US Drug Policy

Thumbnail for "The Fight Over Decriminalization In Oregon And The Future Of US Drug Policy".
February 8, 202430min 39sec

In 2020 Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that decriminalized drug use. Since the law went into effect three years ago, homelessness in the state has increased, the rate of overdose deaths has risen sharply and the support for decriminalization has plummeted.

Now, Oregon legislators on both sides of the aisle are considering overturning the measure, reinstating a more “law and order” approach to addiction.

“Drugs are a symptom of what’s going on,” says Maia Szalavitz, contributing opinion writer at the New York Times who covers addiction and public policy. “Drugs are not the primary cause of what happened.”

Szalavitz joins Diane on the latest episode of On My Mind to talk about the fight over decriminalizing drugs in Oregon – and what it means for the rest of the country.