Decriminalise it?We look at Portugal's drug decriminalisation 10 years on.
In 2001, Portugal became the first country in Europe to abolish criminal charges for the personal possession of drugs. Ten years later, Portugal has not become the "tourist drug haven" that many feared it would. In fact, not only did drug use decrease in certain age groups, but so did the number of drug-related deaths and HIV infections among users.
Several other countries are considering decriminalisation, and many Latin American leaders have begun to challenge the US-led “War on Drugs”. With many calling the US policy a failure, we examine if a similar model can be successfully implemented in the US.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Terry Nelson of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Dr. João Goulão, Portugal’s National Drugs Coordinator, and Roger Morgan of the Coalition for a Drug-Free California.
What do you think? Can Portugal’s successful drug decriminalisation programme be duplicated in the US? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.