Ten years in, Portugal declares drug decriminalization a success...

portuguese_flag_portugalPortugal has marked the 10 year anniversary of the enacting of their controversial policy towards Drugs in their nation by announcing something that has come as a bit of a shock to the more Conservative elements of our world (who had openly predicted a heroin and pot fueled Armageddon in the streets of Lisbon)…

Turns out drug use in the European nation has gone down.

According to Google News:

“Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal's decision 10 years ago to decriminalize drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

"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, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

The number of addicts considered "problematic" -- those who repeatedly use "hard" drugs and intravenous users -- hheroin-born-under-punchesad fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.

"This development can not only be attributed to decriminalization but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies."

The Drug Decriminalization Law, put into place by Portugal on July 1st, 2001 did not legalize drugs per say but rather sent offenders caught with a banned substance on their person would be sent before a special “addiction treatments” panel (consisting of psychologists, judges, and social workers), as opposed to a criminal court. Once before them, the Panel would recommend an course of action for the defendant, taking into account the particulars of the case (especially if the drug use was of a recreational nature or part of a bigger addiction problem).

Low priority drugs, such as marijuana and mushrooms, tend to not be paid attention to at all.

 

Drugs are bad… Mmm’kay???

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So, how do you like that…

Rethinking Draconian laws and treating addicts instead of propping up a punitive system that creates a perfect environment for organized crime mmw-drug-war-idealobbyand forces addicts underground actually causes drug use to go down…

You would think the nation would have become a giant Carter, with the rest of Europe living day to day in terror as this nation state of junkies drags the rest of Europe into a mire of inequity and dissidence. But it turns out to the quite the opposite…

Stunning…

Now, why is it when Europe shits out an awful idea (like socialized Health Care, Communism, Nazism) the rest of the world trips over their own dicks to see who can be the first to embrace this madness but when it comes to a sound idea (such as this one) that unlike the other social tinkering projects is showing to be cost effective and actually working there is nary an eye batted (besides the afore mentioned predictions of total societal collapse)?

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This is especially staggering when you take into account that our nation has spent in 2012 alone(as on February 11, 2012 to be exact) roughly $1.78 Billion in their seemingly futile effort to curb the usage of illegal drugs in America. And what exactly has that nearly two billion brought for the tax payers who footed this extravagant bill???

Not less drugs…

Not less violence in our streets (violence, I might add, that- much like with alcohol nearly a century ago-stems directly from the criminal climate created by the Prohibition and not by the drugs)…

VancouverPoliceWageFailedDrugWarWe got about (again as of February 11th, 2012) 196,600 arrests of fellow citizens (including a staggering 101,000 arrests for marijuana).

Oh, and a police force better armed that the vast majority of the Western World (I’m pretty sure the NYPD alone could sack Canada) given incredible amounts of reach into the private lives of Citizens (Citizens who foolishly allow for such indulgences by Law Enforcement and the State because of fear of faceless wild eyed boogie men out to rape our daughters and corrupt our sons)…

Not to mention the Arms dealers who create these implements of the Drug War and the bloated bureaucracies of overpaid (and handsomely pensioned for life) minion blindly justifying their existence by making sure this machine never stops humming…

But we’ve got the money to burn, right???

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