Decriminalization cuts drug use in half in Portugal

November 15, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

According to an article in Forbes:

Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half. . . Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse. This is a far cheaper, far more humane way to tackle the problem. Rather than locking up 100,000 criminals, the Portuguese are working to cure 40,000 patients and fine-tuning a whole new canon of drug treatment knowledge at the same time.


Category: Drug laws

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Chip Camden says:

    Two words come to mind: liberty and compassion. And it costs less!

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Too bad so many Americans base their decisions on evidence-free beliefs. Whether they are Republican politicians who want to appear “tough on drugs” or “tough on crime” by legislating severe mandatory incarceration for drug possession, or religious zealots who deem drugs to be too sinful to rationally discuss, Americans seem destined to ignore the lesson taught by Portugal. Too many of us would rather build more prisons than more drug treatment facilities. The lost opportunity cost is staggering.

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