Decriminalizing Illicit Drugs In Portugal

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Portugal: In 2001 Portugal passed legislation decriminalizing all illicit drugs. Hereto abolishing criminal penalties for all cases of low-level drug possession and/or consumption. [Drug Policy Alliance, 2015] Previously, Portugal had a strict no-tolerance policy on drug possession and use much like the US. They too relied on the threat of incarceration and the criminal justice system as the core weapon in combatting the war on drugs. Now the focus has shifted to treating drug possession and use as a public health issue.
Under the current drug policy, persons found with up to, but no more than, a personal-use amount of drugs in their possession fears no threat of arrest. Personal use is defined as less than 10 supply. Mathematically a ten
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It is our judgment that this is a sufficient amount of time to collect and analyze data in order to accurately determine whether or not Portugal’s decision to decriminalize all illicit drugs has had a meaningful impact. After studying various reports, it is our judgment that the 2001 legislation, decriminalizing all illicit drugs, has had an over-whelming, positive impact in reducing in what was Portugal’s drug crisis. According to the Drug Policy Alliance the statistics for drug usage are as follows; no major increase in drug use. Portugal’s drug use averages remains lower than the current European averages and significantly lower than the US averages. Adolescent and problem drug use have both dropped. Drug related incarceration has lowered by 60%, drug related deaths have dropped from 80 to 16, and amazingly the number of new HIV cases has reduced from 1,575 to 78, furthermore new AIDS cases dropped from 626 to 74. [Drug Policy Alliance, 2015] It cannot be overstated enough that the positive results listed above were achieved through duel factors of decriminalization, and more importantly expansion of treatment and harm reduction services. Portugal has helped to show that providing the necessary facilities and practices for treating addiction is a huge factor in combatting the war on drugs. [Drug Policy Alliance, …show more content…
Furthermore, the government could expect to receive an additional $8.7 billion dollars. [Miron and Waldock, 2010] This is based on the projected tax revenue marijuana would yield. Additionally it can be expected many local and state economies would be stimulated by blossoming marijuana-based markets. This has been exemplified aptly by Colorado. The legal sphere should experience vast decreases in drug related arrests and incarceration rates. This will save the United States billions of dollars in addition to the figures stated in the preceding paragraph. Lowering incarceration rates has a second positive, expected benefit of reducing racial tension and violence. In the United Sates there is a prison industrial complex meaning there is a disproportionately high number of African American and Hispanics inmates serving for drug related offenses. Many people believe police target minority populations and unfairly arrest/sentence these groups in comparison to white offenders. It is reported that 14 million whites use illicit drugs while only 2.6 million African Americas use the same types of drugs, yet African Americans are imprisoned for drug related crimes at ten times the rate as whites. [NAACP,

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