Home / Drug decriminalization works  
Image of Drug decriminalization works

The government knows better than you when it comes to most things, right? For example, they know what's best for your health, correct (putting aside for a moment their militaries and police that destroy the health of so many)? Some want to get high from drugs, but those who work in government want to get high from power. As a result, most governments take a hard-lined stance when it comes to drugs: penalties are extremely harsh for even the smallest breach of the law (except, of course, if you work for the government - e.g., Air America, Nicaraguan Contras, Afghanistan or, generally, the CIA). As expected, the more activities you make illegal, and the harder you crackdown, the more significant the problem and the more people get hurt (e.g., the US has very tough drug laws and the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world). As empirical data is never used to make laws, what should we do with Portugal's data?


On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense

...none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents - from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for "drug tourists" - has occurred.

...data indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes. Although postdecriminalization usage rates have remained roughly the same or even decreased slightly when compared with other EU states, drug-related pathologies - such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage - have decreased dramatically. Drug policy experts attribute those positive trends to the enhanced ability of the Portuguese government to offer treatment programs to its citizens - enhancements made possible, for numerous reasons, by decriminalization...

The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world.

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Oct 1, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=339

You need to be logged in to comment.
search only within braincrave

About braincrave


We all admire beauty, but the mind ultimately must be stimulated for maximum arousal. Longevity in relationships cannot occur without a meeting of the minds. And that is what Braincrave is: a dating venue where minds meet. Learn about the thoughts of your potential match on deeper topics... topics that spawn your own insights around what you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

We are a community of men and women who seek beauty and stimulation through our minds. We find ideas, education, and self-improvement sexy. We think intelligence is hot. But Braincrave is more than brains and I.Q. alone. We are curious. We have common sense. We value and offer wisdom. We experiment. We have great imaginations. We devour literacy. We are intellectually honest. We support and encourage each other to be better.

You might be lonely but you aren't alone.

Sep, 2017 update: Although Braincrave resulted in two confirmed marriages, the venture didn't meet financial targets. Rather than updating our outdated code base, we've removed all previous dating profiles and retained the articles that continue to generate interest. Moving to valME.io's platform supports dating profiles (which you are welcome to post) but won't allow typical date-matching functionality (e.g., location proximity, attribute similarity).

The Braincrave.com discussion group on Second Life was a twice-daily intellectual group discussions typically held at 12:00 PM SLT (PST) and 7:00 PM SLT. The discussions took place in Second Life group chat but are no longer formally scheduled or managed. The daily articles were used to encourage the discussions.

Latest Activity