CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?"

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy links to and excerpts this article from The Guardian. From the excerpt:

In 2001, ... Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission — a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker — about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them.

The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015. The data behind these changes has been studied and cited as evidence by harm-reduction movements around the globe. It’s misleading, however, to credit these positive results entirely to a change in law.

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Very interesting to know about this Portuguese move and enthused by the results that come out through such humane law.

Posted by: Paul Carrillo | Dec 12, 2017 6:42:48 AM

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