Here’s the Itinerary for Oregon Elected Officials’ All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Portugal

DA Mike Schmidt has backed out.

St. George Castle in Lisbon, Portugal. (Nido Huebl/Shutterstock)

Later this month, a coterie of lawmakers and local officials will descend on Lisbon, Portugal, to learn about the country’s approach to tackling addiction.

Oh, and do a little sightseeing.

WW has obtained an early itinerary for the trip, which is funded by the Health Justice Recovery Alliance, an organization advocating for the implementation of Measure 110. The drug decriminalization law was passed by voters in 2020 but is now on the chopping block as legislators consider major changes to how it works.

The HJRA is offering a $2,500 stipend to attendees, which The Oregonian has reported include four state lawmakers, police union head Aaron Schmautz, and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, who says she’s paying for the trip herself.

They’ll be talking with top Portugal officials and visiting treatment sites to understand how the country’s 2001 decriminalization of hard drugs has worked, while also taking in the sights. The itinerary suggests an 11th century hilltop Moorish castle and a picturesque plaza on the Lisbon harbor.

“There’s no organized tour to a castle or a plaza or any other paid for group outing,” says HJRA spokeswoman Devon Downeysmith. “It’s a bank holiday that day and so we just gave some suggestions of things people could do on their own time if they choose.”

Whether Oregon can successfully follow in Portugal’s footsteps has been the subject of contentious debate. Portugal saw a decrease in drug overdoses following decriminalization. In Oregon, the number has skyrocketed. A top addiction doctor recent told WW there’s “not a lot of equivalence” between Oregon and Portugal given differences in their health systems and approaches to coercive treatment.

Related: Does the Treatment Promised by Measure 110 Need More Teeth?

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt was initially reported to be attending, although he’s since changed his mind. “DA Schmidt is not going to be able to make this trip work in terms of his schedule,” says his spokeswoman, Liz Merah. A deputy prosecutor will be stepping in to take his place.

Here’s the itinerary, provided by state Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Southeast Portland):

2023 Oregon Delegation site visit to Portugal

Itinerary: Draft itinerary we are working with the Portuguese government to solidify

Lisbon, Portugal - October 30th to November 3rd, 2023 (Actual days of programming)

Date Itinerary

Sat, Oct 28th

Sun, Oct 29th

Travel Days

● Arrive in Lisbon Portugal

● Check-in at Central Lisbon Hotel (TBD)

Mon, Oct 30th

1st Day of Delegation Trip

● Morning - Welcome with Dr. João Goulão, Director of Intervention

Service for Addictive Behaviors and Addictions (SICAD), overview of the

policy (reason and history of the policy)

● Lunch (on our own)

● Afternoon - Visit Treatment and Harm reduction sites

● Group dinner - Topic Conversations

Tuesday, Oct 31st

2nd Day of Delegation Trip

● Meeting with Law Enforcement

● Visit more treatment and harm reduction

Wed, Nov 1st Lisbon Holiday Free Day - Discover Lisbon

● Explore St. George Castle View Point, Commerce Square, Timeout Market, and other attractions.

Thurs, Nov 2nd

3rd Day of Delegation Trip

Panel Discussions

● Visit with members of the Portugal Parliament

● Group discussion/debrief

● Group Dinner

Friday, Nov 3rd Class Dismissed

● Check-out of Hotel

● Travel day (class dismissed)

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