Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Another Victory For Common Sense

Portugal has the most lax laws on drugs in Europe, or at least since 2001, when it abolished all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, it has. As expected by everyone not involved in the War on Drugs this has turned out to be a good thing.

[It was] found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."

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