Politics

Drugs are a problem, but not a crime

“If decriminalisation has any effect on behaviour, it is to make it easier for drug‑users to become non‑drug-users, because they can seek help to quit without risking prosecution and jail.”

One option is to decriminalise the taking of drugs by adults, converting it from a problem of crime into a problem, where it exists, of addiction. In 2000 Portugal did exactly that, leading to a decline in drug‑related crime. Crimes committed under the influence of drugs fell, as did crimes undertaken to fund drug use. Perhaps surprisingly, drug decriminalisation also led to no increase in drug use. It turns out people don’t rely on the government to make their choices for them. Those who want to use drugs are rarely dissuaded by the risk of criminal conviction and imprisonment, and those who don’t want to use drugs do not suddenly change their mind once the threat of jail is taken away.

Original Article (Financial Review):
Drugs are a problem, but not a crime
Artwork Fair Use: By November Coalition. Sentence with November.org contact info removed from the bottom of the chart by User:Timeshifter. Please see Commons:Watermarks. (http://november.org/graphs/Americans.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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