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Full Version: Decriminalizing drug possession
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In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Note that this isn't a pro-drug law... law enforcement still cracks down on dealers. However, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs, rather than being sent to jail, are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment). Since it's cheaper to treat than to jail them, the state saves money.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/...46,00.html --- Not the most recent article but a very detailed one.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the policy and so far it is still a success: 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 has jumped to more than double.

Seems like a good approach to apply internationally?

evrything should be free and abused as one sees fit
I agree with SJ. These are lifestyle choices - not smart perhaps, but personal choices non-the-less.

Billions are wasted chasing dealers and addicts every year. SO I say yes to de-criminilzation, though no to guidelines you highlighted.
As long as people do no harm to others, I think it's their right to use recreationally or even destroy themselves with their drugs. I think prison should only be used to hold violent criminals. I would decriminalize drug use (which should eliminate the need for dealers in the first place).
In the Portugal law, treatment isn't even the blanket approach: the panels of psychologists, social workers, etc will review the case and determine if the person is a recreational user in which case no harm done. Treatment is only recommended for serious cases.

I see what you're getting at though. Even in serious cases, unless the addict is robbing or hurting people, should the state even interfere (even if its just with the insistence of treatment?) Of course once an addict hurts someone in his addled state, I suppose he would be held legally, criminally, and fully accountable for that result of his choice .
the addict is robbing people because he has no money or access to the drugs he wants.

legalizing all drugs will take away most money from the drugs and anti drugs mafia,which they will do anything for to prevent