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definition - Drug_policy_of_Portugal

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Drug policy of Portugal

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The drug policy of Portugal regards drug abuse as a matter of public health.

Under Portuguese law, there are no criminal penalties for the personal use of any drug.[1][2] Drug abusers are dealt with by administrative and therapeutic means.[3][4][5]

Contents

History

In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to abolish all criminal penalties for personal drug possession. In addition, drug users were to be targeted with therapy rather than prison sentences.[6]

Regulation

Individuals found in possession of small quantities of drugs are issued summons. The drugs are confiscated, and the suspect is interviewed by a dissuasion commission including a civil servant, a psychiatrist, and an attorney.[7][8] Based on the patterns of drug use, the individual may be subject to fines, therapy, or probation.[citation needed]

Drug trafficking remains illegal and is prosecuted.[7]

Results

Research commissioned by the libertarian Cato Institute, which advocates decriminalization,[9] and led by Glenn Greenwald, found that in the five years after the start of decriminalization, illegal drug use by teenagers had declined, the rate of HIV infections among drug users had dropped, deaths related to heroin and similar drugs had been cut by more than half, and the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction had doubled, while usage in the EU continued to increase, including in states with "hard-line drug policies."[3]

However, Peter Reuther, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, while conceding that Portuguese decriminalization met its central goal of stopping the rise in drug use, suggests that the heroin usage rates and related deaths may have been due to the cyclical nature of drug epidemics.[10]

Since Portugal's policy reform in 2001, the rates of overdoses and HIV cases have been reduced significantly.[11][12][13]

See also

External links

Notes

  1. ^ "Portugal legalises drug use". BBC News. 7 July 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/823257.stm. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (14 March 2009). "The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/14/portugal/index.html. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Greenwald, Glenn; Peter Reuter, Tim Lynch (3 April 2009). "Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies". Drug Decriminalization in Portugal. Cato Institute. http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Gillespie, Nick. "Drug Decriminalization in Portugal". Reason 2009 (July). http://www.reason.com/news/show/133856.html. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Easton, Mark (1 July 2009). "How Portugal treats drug addicts". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/07/how_portugal_treats_drug_addic.html. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Kristof, Nicholas (19 August 2009). "Priority Test: Health Care or Prisons?". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/opinion/20kristof.html. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  7. ^ a b United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2009) (PDF). Confronting unintended consequences: Drug control and the criminal black market. United Nations. 174. ISBN 978-92-1-148240-9. http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2009/WDR2009_eng_web.pdf. 
  8. ^ Hammond, Claudia (18 June 2009). "Lisbon's light-touch drugs policy". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8106689.stm. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Drug War", Cato Institute
  10. ^ Szalavitz, Maia (26 April 2009). "Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?". TIME. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Vastag, Brian (7 April 2009). "5 Years After: Portugal's Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results". Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=portugal-drug-decriminalization. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Oswald, Rachel (6 April 2009). "Portugal's drug decriminalization 'bizarrely underappreciated': Greenwald". The Raw Story. http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Portugals_drug_decriminalization_bizarrely_underappreciated_Greenwald_0406.html. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Hughes, Caitlin; Alex Stevens (2007). "Briefing Paper Fourteen". The Effects of Decriminalization of Drug Use in Portugal. Oxford: Beckley Foundation. http://www.idpc.net/php-bin/documents/BFDPP_BP_14_EffectsOfDecriminalisation_EN.pdf.pdf. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 

 

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