Politics

The success of Portugal’s decriminalisation policy – in seven charts

Despite virtually eliminating all punishments for personal drug possession, rates of drug use haven’t skyrocketed like some predicted. As this chart shows, use had gone up slightly when measured in 2007 (a trend in line with other, similar countries), but has since gone back down. In fact, by two out of three measures, adult drug use is now lower than it was in 2001. This gives more credence to the idea that criminalising people is an unnecessary (not to mention inhumane) way of trying to stop them taking drugs.

While personal drug possession isn’t a criminal offence in Portugal, it’s still an administrative offence, which means it can be subject to fines or other minor penalties. When people are caught with drugs, they’re often referred to what are known as ‘commissions for the dissuasion of drug addiction’, which decide what penalty (if any) the person should face. However, as this chart shows, the vast majority of people have their cases ‘suspended’ – i.e., no further action is taken.

Original Article (Transform Drug Policy):
The success of Portugal’s decriminalisation policy – in seven charts
Artwork Fair Use: Transform Drug Policy

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