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6 Incredible Things That Happened When Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs

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 criminal — issue.

And rather than 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.

Mic's Zeeshan Aleem reports that people walk away without a penalty most of the time.

Here's what the data says about Portugal's decriminalization:

  1. Drug-related HIV infections have plummeted by over 90% since 2001, according to the drug-policy think tank Transform.
  2. Drug-related deaths in Portugal are the second-lowest in the European Union. Just three in a million people die of overdoses there, compared with the EU average of 17.3 per million.
  3. The number of adults who have done drugs in the past year has decreased steadily since 2001.
  4. Compared to rest of the EU, young
  5. ...
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