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Ten Years Ago Portugal Legalized All Drugs -- What Happened Next?


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#1 Genghis Flan

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:22 PM

Ten Years Ago Portugal Legalized All Drugs -- What Happened Next?


When the nation legalized all drugs within its borders, most critics predicted disaster. But a decade later, drug use has plunged dramatically.

The government in Portugal has no plans to back down. Although the Netherlands is the European country most associated with liberal drug laws, it has already been ten years since Portugal became the first European nation to take the brave step of decriminalizing possession of all drugs within its borders—from marijuana to heroin, and everything in between. This controversial move went into effect in June of 2001, in response to the country’s spiraling HIV/AIDS statistics. While many critics in the poor and largely conservative country attacked the sea change in drug policy, fearing it would lead to drug tourism while simultaneously worsening the country’s already shockingly high rate of hard drug use, a report published in 2009 by the Cato Institute tells a different story. Glenn Greenwald, the attorney and author who conducted the research, told Time: “Judging by every metric, drug decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success. It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country."
Back in 2001, Portugal had the highest rate of HIV among injecting drug users in the European Union—an incredible 2,000 new cases a year, in a country with a population of just 10 million. Despite the predictable controversy the move stirred up at home and abroad, the Portuguese government felt there was no other way they could effectively quell this ballooning problem. While here in the U.S. calls for full drug decriminalization are still dismissed as something of a fringe concern, the Portuguese decided to do it, and have been quietly getting on with it now for a decade. Surprisingly, most credible reports appear to show that decriminalization has been a staggering success.
The DEA sees it a bit differently. Portugal, they say, was a disaster, with heroin and HIV rates out of control. "Portugal's addict population and the problems that go along with addiction continue to increase," the DEA maintains. "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."
However, as Glenn Greenwald, the author of the Cato study, concludes: "By freeing its citizens from the fear of prosecution and imprisonment for drug usage, Portugal has dramatically improved its ability to encourage drug addicts to avail themselves of treatment. The resources that were previously devoted to prosecuting and imprisoning drug addicts are now available to provide treatment programs to addicts." Under the perfect system, treatment would also be voluntary, but as an alternative to jail, mandatory treatment save money. But for now, "the majority of EU states have rates that are double and triple the rate for post-decriminalization Portugal," Greenwald says.
For those looking for clues about how the U.S. government can tackle its domestic drug problem, the figures are enticing. Following decriminalization, Portugal eventually found itself with the lowest rates of marijuana usage in people over 15 in the EU: about 10%. Compare this to the 40% of people over 12 who regularly smoke pot in the U.S., a country with some of the most punitive drugs laws in the developed world. Drug use of all kinds has declined in Portugal: Lifetime use among seventh to ninth graders fell from 14.01% to 10.6%. Lifetime heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%. And what about those horrific HIV infection rates that prompted the move in the first place? HIV infection rates among drug users fell by an incredible 17%, while drug related deaths were reduced by more than half. "There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal," said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, at a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

Full: http://www.alternet....t_happened_next




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#2 Genghis Flan

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:31 AM

Thought this would have drawn some comments, at the least.
Looks like it works.
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"To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive." --Robert Louis Stevenson

'No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We need to see the world anew." ~Albert Einstein

"In a government of law, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
Justice Louis Brandeis

"Keep it real or keep it to your motherfucking self."™

"Fuck you AND your sick god!"™

Official PWR Antichrist, antisocial asshole. Fuck you.

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#3 mr.radar

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

of course for this to happen HERE, we'd have to use LOGIC instead of a business model designed to maximize profits

#4 Omph

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:10 AM

The drug dealers are in charge of the looney bin.

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#5 Safe

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:04 AM



#6 Norman D. Plume

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:40 AM

Decades of studies have shown this is what will happen. It is the profits of the Brit Monarchy that is at stake. I'm not sure about now, the CIA may have beat her out, but Liz was for years the biggest dealer in the world.

There is also the ability to bust political activists, sales of pharmacutical drugs, and booze sales. Plus, it provides employment opporutnities for all the narcs. Like everything else in this society, it is a lie. The psychedelic drugs clear the conditioning so that one can see the truth of the above, and we certainly can't have that happen.

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#7 *Fluffy the Cat*

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:01 PM

Los Angeles council vote would close hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries - @abc7


@NBCLA tweeted:

BREAKING: LA City Council votes 13-1 to approve the "hard ban" on pot shops.

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#8 john jones

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:10 PM

View PostGenghis Flan, on 24 July 2012 - 12:31 AM, said:

Thought this would have drawn some comments, at the least.
Looks like it works.

I didn't see it until now. There seems to be no doubt the USA's war on drugs has been a spectacular failure. What we're doing now doesn't work.

I'm for fully legalizing marijuana - even though I don't use it. That could be a good start.
Spelling and punctuation errs left intact for the benefit of those have no worthwhile rejoinder.

#9 *Fluffy the Cat*

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:23 PM

Well, see, how it works is:

TPTB make sure the country is flooded with drugs and that they make piles of money.

The druggies go to privately contracted prisons.

Everybody else makes piles more money.

The messican drug lords decapitate fuck-ups.

The druggies never realize they're bit players in the biggest scam of all.

Works for everybody.


:rolleyes:
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#10 *Fluffy the Cat*

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:43 PM

Update: Medical marijuana dispensary ban approved in Los Angeles, with some exceptions for 182 shops to be weighed in future - @NBCLA

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#11 *Guest~

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:08 PM

Of course it would work!

I did not know Portugal legalized. I now love Portugal, even MORE!!!
I love the Portuguese people. OMG. They're like the calmer cousins of the Italians.
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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:16 PM

there's a bigger profit in INFORCEMENT

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:21 PM

WOW uc... your powers of deduction are astounding. :zzz:

#14 DoBee DoBee Do

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:27 PM

View Post~pottymouth, on 24 July 2012 - 08:16 PM, said:

there's a bigger profit in INFORCEMENT

Not if they tax the sales. Yeah some people will grow their own, but most are too busy or too lazy to do it right. So if they sold it like they do cigarettes or alcohol they would collect taxes on the sales and taxes on the profits made by the companies the grow it. Now I'm talking about pot here.

The other stuff. I personally would like to see how they deal with the major addictions changed. When they pick them up, mandatory inpatient rehab not jail each and every time they get picked up. The dealers, make them work for a certain period of time in the rehab centers. Let them be majorly inconvenienced for a period of time. Some of them will get out and go back to dealing, but a select few might grow a conscience. Enough punishing. Use those funds to fix.
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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

I think they should legalize drugs and prostitution. Crimes should be about actions to others, not yourself as long as you are over 18.
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