In Oregon alone there were 956 fatal overdoses in 2022, a number that has trebled in three years. Before too long he was on the streets, feeding a drug habit he now says he is sick of. - Failure -Many Portland residents that AFP met said decriminalization has been a failure, describing their city as an open-air drug market. The 2021 law was supposed to improve Oregon's abysmal drug treatment record by strengthening the health care system through taxes levied on cannabis sales. One criticism of decriminalization -- that it would increase harmful drug use -- does not stand up to scrutiny.