• Absolutely, decriminalization works for Portugal and it would work everywhere else.

    I'm writing a dissertation on the war on drugs. I started off completely in favor of enforcement and criminalization, but all it takes is a days research to realize that it is no way forward. Supply intervention does nothing but drive up price, substances are more available now than they have ever been. Criminalization does nothing to deter people - rates all over the world increased consistently since the 1940's in states where there use is illegal, and yet examples such as the Netherlands, Portugal and pretty much every other state which have decriminalized and have not seen usage rates increase any more than they have everywhere else. Moreover, criminalization and supply enforcement exacerbate the situation by not only putting the third most valuable commodity into the hands of criminal gangs, but also stigmatizing and marginalizing users who by and large actually engage in activities which have been proven to be less harmful than alcohol/tobacco on both a personal and social scale.

  • Drug gangs and drug related crimes have both decreased in number

    Yes, not every drug related statistic is headed downward, some even travelling the other way. However, these are a result of people's choice, not gang's mowing down a family home, and not someone overdosing because he or she doesn't know the harm in 'illicit drugs'. Comparably, the U.S has spent multiple TRILLIONS on the drug war, with over 45 MILLION people being locked up for drug related 'crimes,' and these trends look set to continue. What does this say about drugs and people? It says that no matter whether you legalise or illegalise them, people are going to do them. Portugal is saving money through not having to house so many 'criminals,' and having to regulate people less. Portugal should continue to inform their people about the dangers of taking these drugs, which will not only further empower the people, but maybe even save more lives (and definitely money).

  • It makes it less "cool" to do them.

    Prohibition showed us that when you criminalize something that people really want to do, it exacerbates issues. Legalizing them provides a safe market, government tax income, and keeps people out of the prison system (a system that usually fails people). Decriminalization overall has most likely been a positive force in Portugal.

  • It has been proven to work!

    I don't understand people who don't research before they post or talk garbage based on their own theory.

    100,000 junkies before the trial, 40,000 after ten years. Take into consideration that drug use has increased around the world as well. Anyone who argues against this fact is a total moron. Take a look at Hollands drug rate drop as well.

    Illegal drugs have been proven to be less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Cannabis has been proven to cure cancer and almost every disease known to man. I am the living walking proof and I shouldn't be ashamed or need to hide this fact.

    What I hate most is all the people against drugs are people who use drugs(alcohol& tobacco ). Look at what alcohol has done to society. You can't go out on a Saturday night without the threat of a fight.When i was younger alcohol users were a minority and drug users were the majority and there were no fights or problems in the clubs or on the streets it was love for everyone and respect. That's gone now and I no longer go out because of the risk of being killed trying to enjoy my night out.

    If we ban all drugs then i don't see why alcohol shouldn't be included. A policy that is fair for all. How about we ban alcohol and decriminalise drugs and see where society goes.

  • Decriminalizing something harmful to the community will never work.

    Drug Decriminalization has not worked because it has simply encouraged more individuals to be more open and vocal about their drug habit. Allowing it to occur legally has made those who perhaps in the past never even thought about taking drugs give it a try because it is no longer illegal. There is no way that this could help to stop a drug problem. Giving people legal access to drugs gives them the green light. And that's not good.

  • Drug Decriminalization In Portugal Has Not Worked. The Forbes Article "Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal" is misstatement of facts.

    There was one article published in Forbes “Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal” that is being cited as proof that drug decriminalization works. ====================================================================TThere is one problem! It is based solely on a verbal statement made to the Press by Joao Goulao, MD, who was instrumental in the decriminalizing drugs in Portugal in 2001. It is his opinion! Remember the adage: Lies, Liars, and Statistics.
    An article “Decriminalization of drugs in Portugal – The Real facts!” “Recent articles in the weekly British magazine, The Economist and The Cato Institute of Washington promote government options as a legitimate right. The problem is the rest; the manipulation of the facts and numbers is unacceptable!”
    Anyway, there is no actual data to support the statement, just Goulao’s guestimates. ===================================================================================== Goulao, MD does not make such claim in his study. If you review his own charts inpublished study for the years 2000 through 2007, you will see that drug use in Portugal has actually increased since decriminalization.
    Joao Goulao, MD references “The 2009 EMCDDA Annual Report” in his study. If you read the “Situation tab”, you will get to a “Country overview: Portugal.” There you find that all illicit drug use has increased in all categories, e.g., cannabis, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, amphetamines and LSD and that problematic drug use has increased, not decreased.
    The decriminalization of drugs in Portugal did not in any way decrease levels of consumption. On the contrary, "the consumption of drugs in Portugal increased by 4.2% - the percentage of people who have experimented with drugs at least once in their lifetime increased from 7.8% in 2001 to 12% in 2007 (IDT-Institute for Drugs and Drug Addiction Portuguese, 2008).
    With regard to the consumption of cocaine "the latest data (surveys from 2005-2007) confirms the increasing trend during the last year in France, Ireland, Spain, The United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark and Portugal" (EMCDDA 2008). While rates of use of cocaine and amphetamine doubled in Portugal, seizures of cocaine have increased sevenfold between 2001 and 2006, the sixth highest in the world (WDR-World Drug Report, 2009).
    With regard to hashish, it is difficult to assess the trends and intensive use of hashish in Europe, but among the countries that participated in field trials, between 2004 and 2007 (France, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands and Portugal) there was an average increase of approximately 20% " (EMCDDA, 2008).
    In Portugal, since decriminalization has been implemented, the number of homicides related to drugs has increased 40%. "It was the only European country with a significant increase in (drug-related) murders between 2001 and 2006" (WDR, 2009).
    All Americans need to fight for stronger controls against illicit drugs and stop this nonsense about decriminalization being a great idea; it would fail horribly in the USA just like it has failed horribly in Portugal.

  • the same people, if more, are still smoking.

    The people that were smoking before, are still now, those who were hesitant only because it was against the law would be now also since there is no threat of being arrested. Sure it brings the crime rate down because they aren't getting charged, but all that is numbers. We should be worrying about the safety of people in the country not if they get arrested and what that would do to our statistics.

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