Custom Search

Thoughts on Voting

"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Portugal Decriminalizes Drugs and Drug Usage Declines

You Deserve a Break Today -- We Do it All for You -- I'm Lovin' It

Those who oppose the decriminalization of drugs or at the very least, marijuana, won't like this report.

Eight (8) years ago Portugal decriminalized the usage of all drugs and the results have been astounding. According to a new report entitled, “Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies,” while drug use across the European Union has risen steadily since 2000, Portugal, which has the most liberal drug laws of any country, has actually seen its prevalence rates decrease in various age groups since it decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Prevalence rates measure how many people have consumed drugs over the course of their lifetime.

I think it’s bizarrely underappreciated what’s been done in Portugal,” said Salon writer Glenn Greenwald, who authored the report. Greenwald, who speaks fluent Portuguese, traveled to Portugal in 2008 to study the affects of drug decriminalization in the country.

Because drugs were not legalized outright in Portugal, violations of laws prohibiting drug possession for personal usage are now merely treated as administrative offenses and carry with them no criminal charges. Drug trafficking, however, continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense in the country.

Compared to the low to moderate levels of drug use in Portugal since decriminalization went into effect, the majority of EU states have drug use rates that are double and triple that of Portugal today, according to the report.

Greenwald, who presented his findings at a Friday event at the Cato Institute, which sponsored the writing of the report, noted that the United Kingdom and Estonia, EU nations with some of the harshest criminalization laws, also have the highest cocaine usage rates in the EU.

“None of the fears promulgated by opponents of Portuguese decriminalization has come to fruition, whereas many of the benefits predicted by drug policymakers from instituting a decriminalization regime have been realized," writes Greenwald in the report. "While drug addiction, usage, and associated pathologies continue to skyrocket in many EU states, those problems—in virtually every relevant category—have been either contained or measurably improved within Portugal since 2001.”


Directory of Politics Blogs

Copyright @ 1998-2009
All Rights Reserved


  1. Drugs and the like are for humans, therefore any government action to minimize the use of drugs is true adanya.Please visit my web site at with google search engine.


Please feel free to add your comments on the topic at hand. No advertising or profanity please. Thanks for participating.

Click to Report Broken Links or Non-Working Videos