Friday, May 08, 2009

Portugal decriminalized drugs; what's happened since?

Decriminalization of the use of marijuana is beginning to get some traction. The money being spent in this country to chase and imprison pot smokers may not have been alarming when mandatory sentencing was popular 15 years ago.

But now it looks crazy to go on with the War on Drugs, as if we can afford it. And, as if it's actually working!

In Portugal marijuana and all other so-called "recreational" drugs were decriminalized in 2001. The Cato Institute has the story of what has happened since.
Notably, decriminalization has become increasingly popular in Portugal since 2001. Except for some far-right politicians, very few domestic political factions are agitating for a repeal of the 2001 law. And while there is a widespread perception that bureaucratic changes need to be made to Portugal's decriminalization framework to make it more efficient and effective, 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.
Click here to read the entire report.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Tuesday that he's ready to consider legalizing and taxing marijuana.
[Schwarzenegger] says it’s time to debate proposals such as a bill introduced in the Legislature earlier this year that would treat marijuana like alcohol.
Click here to read more in the Los Angeles Times.

1 comment:

Paul said...

After all these years, this is very encouraging. A bit of good news is always nice to hear.