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Drug Decriminalization In Portugal


bradm
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One of the columnists at Salon.com has prepared a report titled Drug Decriminalization in Portugal:

Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies, on what's gone on in Portugal in the seven years since they decriminalized all drugs (including cocaine and heroin) in 2001.

Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.
...decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes. Although postdecriminalization usage rates have remained roughly the same or even decreased slightly when compared with other EU states, drug-related pathologies — such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage — have decreased dramatically. Drug policy experts attribute those positive trends to the enhanced ability of the Portuguese government to offer treatment programs to its citizens — enhancements made possible, for numerous reasons, by decriminalization.

Aloha,

Brad

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Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.

This is all I ever hope for, to be honest, when I picture decriminalization in Canada (ideally, it would be no charges for posssesion of personal amounts, but hey you gotta start somewhere) - it's realistic, more then fair to both sides (pro and anti) and easily feasible within our borders. At least in my opinion.

Cheers to Portugal for some forward thinking and attitudes.

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I never understand those statements, especially considering the number of states that have already decriminalized herb, some more then 20 years ago at that. Legalization, well - I would agree 100% with you, but decriminalization I can't.

Since decriminalization doesn't mean you wouldn't get arrested for simple possesion for one - only that you wouldn't have a life time criminal record over it - so any Americans that were arrested, would be fined and subject to possible deprotation (basically, told to leave immediately), and possibly not be allowed back. Similar to how many Euro-countries deal with visitors and drugs.

Outsiders are usually dealt with differently, and in some cases more severly as not too many countries (Netherlands for example) really take kindly to visitors absuing their way of dealing with it.

I know from my expirences in europe in 1997, France had a zero tolerance for visitors being caught with herb, Luxenburg and Belgium as well both adhered to pretty much the same mindset as France - Netherlands was a bit different, I was there for the 10th annual Canabis Cup but one point that was stressed over and over again by organizers, politicians and even the police was outsiders who took advantage of the laid back laws were subject to the full extend of their laws and in reality, marijuana is not legal - only tolerated in the specified establishments.

Like I said above, I feel it is easily feasible for Canada to adopt similiar policies. Obviously, policies that suit our people & borders accordingly.

By not even trying due to the fear of Americans swarming us, or US Gov't pressure, we are just being bullied. For me, thats much worse then some dumbasses coming here because they think its legal or more laxed.

Thats my long post of the weekend. ;)

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Too long didn't read, huh - can't say I thought my few short paragraphs were that long, but oh well.

I won't make this any longer then, but here's a short version reply.

If we even pretend to make our laws more relaxed we're gonna get swarmed by yanks lookin for dope and it'll mean less for us... fuÇk that.

We're actually behind the US when it comes to this, so keep thinking that.

and I read the final bracketed comment you posted

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  • 5 weeks later...

You're pretty close, bradpitt1111 - when it gets to 'habit' stage, then - if problematic - it should be the duty of the individual to seek help in controlling his/her habit/compulsion/dependancy/addiction.

Decriminalization of personal posession and use with sales of narcotics requiring license & taxation - natural products with less restriction - would be ultimitely fair and not only save us money and personal & societal stresses, but would add more to the tax base.

It could arguably fund preventative medicine practices that most people have to pay out of pocket (acupuncture, herbalism, naturpathy, homeopathy, chiropracty, massage, nutritionists, dieticians etc.) and fund more addictions treatment facilities that are already a dire necessity around the country.

Hell, if that were to happen then we could work for a state supported narcotics trade - high quality low cost - and also support the flow of Mama Coca (coca leaves, not cocaine) and related products into Canada that are unfairly controlled.

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