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Emily Green

2022 AHCJ Reporting Fellow on Health Care Performance, Managing Editor, The Lund Report

Emily Green headshot

Emily Green will examine the after-effects of Oregon’s first-in-the-nation law to decriminalize low-level possession of most illicit drugs, especially as the state has been ranked among the highest in per-capita use of illegal narcotics such as methamphetamine and heroin. Oregon also rates near the top for the number of people needing but not receiving treatment, and in the spring of 2020, fatal overdoses from illicit drug use in Oregon jumped 70%, according to state data. With this backdrop, Green will take a close look at how the baton has been passed from law enforcement to health care providers with this decriminalization and what programs seem to be working. Green will also examine equity issues in how the criminalization of Black people has historically been at a rate double that of white people in Oregon, and what impacts will come from the change in law. There are learnings from programs in Vancouver and Rhode Island that Green will look at in comparison to what Oregon is doing, and there will also be learnings from Oregon that can be applied to other cities as the data on decriminalization becomes clearer.