Decriminalization of All Illicit Drugs

Portugal is a nation plagued by many of the drug problems that persist in Europe. Unlike many of its neighbors who have witnessed a reduction or stabilization in the opiate addict population, Portugal's addict population and the problems that go along with addiction continue to increase. In an effort to reduce the number of addicts in the prison system, the Portuguese government has an enacted some radical policies in the last few years with the eventual decriminalization of all illicit drugs in July of 2001.

Until July 1, 2001, drug use, possession, and acquisition in Portugal were punishable by penalties up to 3 months in prison or a fine for small quantities. For amounts that exceeded a three-day supply, the penalty was up to a year in prison or a fine. Then in April 2001 a Regulation Decree was adopted and led to the implementation of the November 2000 law, Law 30/2000. On July 1, 2001, Law 30/2000 took effect in Portugal, decriminalizing drug use, possession and acquisition for the "casual" user as well as the addict.

While drug use, possession, and acquisition are still illicit activities in Portugal, these acts have been decriminalized. Acts that could once bring a prison sentence of three months to a year will now result in the confiscation of the illicit substance and a referral, not to a trial, but to a three-person commission to evaluate the offender. Under this new law, non-addicts may receive monetary fines or other penalties, while addicts will only receive non-monetary penalties. The three-person commission will most likely consist of a lawyer, a doctor, and a social assistant to evaluate the individual's level of addiction and recommend treatment options with the goal of rehabilitating the offender. Administrative sanctions may be used, but are not the primary objective of this new law. This new law did not legalize drug use, but removed criminal penalties for use, possession, and acquisition for all illicit drugs in quantities up to a 10-day supply.

What a novel action! Actually making all drugs legal would actually be a boost for the public economy! but then that is a "novel" idea still waiting of stage in the wings. ;)

Personally, I do not thinking making all drugs legal would increase their use. What do you think about the changes in the law in Portugal? What do you think about my idea to legalize all "illicit" drugs?

Children and those dependent on other for food should be fed only nutritions, non-harmful fare...everyone else should be free to choose what they elect to put in their mouths and all other entry points.

1 comment:

FriedClyde said...

Nia where are you?