"Oregon and Washington have recently made changes to their drug laws to fully or partially legalize possession of small amounts of drugs and increase investment in treatment access. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the association between those changes and fatal drug overdose. Using the synthetic control method to compare post-drug policy changes in fatal drug overdose rates in Oregon and Washington and estimated rates in the absence of these drug policy changes, we found no evidence that either Measure 110 in Oregon or the Washington Blake decision and subsequent legislative amendments were associated with changes in fatal drug overdose rates in either state. These findings were also robust to variations in the donor pool and the modeling strategy."


Joshi S, Rivera BD, Cerd√° M, et al. One-Year Association of Drug Possession Law Change With Fatal Drug Overdose in Oregon and Washington. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online September 27, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.3416