Politics

Drug decriminalization… a health-centered approach

*Oregon Supreme Court

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Portugal’s policy has reportedly not led to an increase in drug tourism. It also appears that a number of drug-related problems have decreased.”31

The leading independent researchers to investigate the outcomes of Portugal’s policy, professors Caitlin Hughes and Alex Stevens, wrote in the British Journal of Criminology in 2010 that “contrary to predictions, the Portuguese decriminalization did not lead to major increases in drug use. Indeed, evidence indicates reductions in problematic use, drug-related harms and criminal justice overcrowding.”32 In a 2012 follow-up article published in Drug and Alcohol Review, they concluded, “[There] is ample evidence of a successful reform.”33  Nearly a decade and a half later [after Portugal decriminalized all drugs], Portugal shows that decriminalization does not inevitably lead to increases in drug use, nor does it lead to a culture of lawlessness. Indeed, none of the fears of critics have come to pass. 

English / Spanish

Original Article (Drug Policy Alliance):
Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: A Health-Centered Approach
Artwork Fair Use: KTVL

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