(Greenwald 2009) Drug decriminalization in Portugal

Greenwald, Glenn. Drug decriminalization in Portugal: lessons for creating fair and successful drug policies. Washington, DC, USA: Cato Institute; 2009. Available from: http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf. Accessed 2012 Mar 13. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/668TXIqNP.

Greenwald documents the success of Portugal’s experiment, from 2001 onward, with decriminalization of individual use of all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. This experiment was undertaken with the intent of decreasing the stigma attached to drug use, and thereby reducing barriers to drug users seeking treatment. Since 2001, there have been decreases in usage rates for most monitored drugs, in new reported infections with HIV and with hepatitis B and C, and in drug-related deaths. “Drug tourism” scenarios feared by opponents of decriminalization have not occurred.



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Last revision: April 6, 2013