United Nations Applauds Portugal's Drug Decriminilization
Concerned with health issues such as increases in HIV and drug overdoses, in 2001 Portugal decriminalized the possession of small amounts of street drugs–not just marijuana but heroin, LSD, etc. At the time the United Nations expressed skepticism that this would work. There was a fear that there would be an increase in drug tourism and drug use. However, according to a report recently released by the Cato Institute, “[Now] there is no real debate about whether drugs should once again be criminalized. More significantly, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents — from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for “drug tourists” — has occurred..”
Just a few hours ago, a new report from the United Nations declares, “Portugal’s policy has reportedly not led to an increase in drug tourism…”It also appears that a number of drug-related problems have decreased.”
The Cahto Institute’s report explains that five years after the implementation of decriminialization, “…the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006.”
Common sense is now backed by hard facts. Let’s stop the violence and the wasted lives. Let’s decriminialize drug use.
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