What is decriminalization? Decriminalization is to remove or reduce the classification or status of especially to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation(“Webster Decriminalize”).
There are many reasons as to why we believe all drugs should be decriminalized. There is only one country that has decriminalized all drugs and luckily they made it out alive and are doing better than ever. The is country is Portugal. Portugal had a high rate of HIV infections and those had dropped over drastically since 2001’s law on drugs. Decriminalization of all drugs can be very beneficial.
Portugal had started out with about 100,000 heroin users and Portugal has about 50,000 which is half of those getting treatment. When the new drug law came out fewer and fewer people used drugs. They had a lot of problem and with that it was a hit or miss for them. If they hit it right everything would go good like it did, and if they missed then they drug problem would skyrocket. America should decriminalize use of all drugs because there would be less money being used for locking people up in cells, the death rate of users would drop drastically, and the super high rate of drug users in america would drop. Decriminalizing all drugs sounds easy but there’s a lot more to it. Portugal is the only country that has decriminalized all drugs with that it’s also good to state that its only had a positive effect on the country.Portugal decriminalised drugs 14 years ago and now hardly anyone dies from overdose(“Independent”).
In july 2001 Portugal decriminalized all drugs including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The possession of small quantities of those drugs was shifted to a public health rather than a criminal issue. Instead of getting arrested for a small amount you get sent to a “dissuasion commission,” where a doctor, lawyer, and social worker prescribe treatment or give you a fine( Business Insider). Drug-related HIV infections have plummeted by over ninety percent since 2001 according to the drug-policy think tank Transform. This is a big change for only sixteen years with the population of Portugal being 10,308,629 currently (worldometers). Over these sixteen years drug related deaths in portugal are the second-lowest in the European Union. Just three in a million people die of overdose there, compared to the EU average of 17.
3 per million. Three in every million is about thirty death of overdoses a year (Business Insider). The number of adults who have done drugs in the past year has decreased steadily since 2001. Which leads me to believe that whatever Portugal has been doing has been very beneficial to its economy. Alongside with that Compared to rest of the EU, young people in Portugal now use the least amount of “legal high” drugs like the synthetic marijuana, which are especially dangerous.
The percentage of drug-related offenders in Portuguese prisons fell from forty-four percent in 1999 to twenty-one percent in 2012. The tactics implied by Portugal have clearly been affecting the country in a positive manner which have lead to many benefits (Business Insider)Portugal’s decriminalization was first thought of because the country was in crisis. In 1974, Portugal’s dictatorship fell after a coup that became known as the Carnation Revolution.
With it falling came the drug invasion. In 1999, one-percent of the population was actively addicted to heroin, and portugal had the highest rate of drug-related AIDS in the Eu.