Portugal

Mon
12
Oct

Cannabis should be legalised and treated like cigarettes, claims Welsh MP

Newport West MP Paul Flynn called for politicians to show 'courage' as he said the Class B substance was 'less harmful than alcohol'

A Welsh MP has called for cannabis to be treated as legal in the same way as cigarettes with “controlled” markets for the drug.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn, who will on Monday lead an historic debate on the issue in Parliament, said the war on drugs was a “disaster” and branded marijuana “less harmful than alcohol”.

Mon
21
Sep

How former junkie capital of Europe Portugal halved number of addicts by ending prosecution of users

It was known as the biggest drugs supermarket in Europe. A shanty town on a hill to which 5,000 junkies a day would flock to peddle their lethal wares or get their fix.

People using needles in the street hardly raised an eyebrow. Dead bodies lying around on the pavement were a common morning sight.

Casal Ventoso was not just a mad, bad neighbourhood of Lisbon. It was a byword for hell in a country ravaged by narcotics abuse.

Portugal’s drugs tzar Dr Joao Goulao says: “Almost every morning we’d find dead bodies. Around 5,000 came every day to buy, sell and take drugs. The impact on public health was huge.”

Wed
16
Sep

Law and Border

How many wars can we fight?

Our presidential candidates demand "stronger action" against both illegal immigration and illegal drugs. But those goals conflict. The War on Drugs makes border enforcement much harder!

America's 44-year-long Drug War hasn't made a dent in American drug use or the supply of illegal drugs. If it had some positive effect, prices of drugs would have increased, but they haven't. American authorities say drugs are more available than ever.

Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, creates fat profits that invite law-breaking.

Sat
12
Sep

Do Adults Have a Privacy Right to Use Drugs? Brazil’s Supreme Court Decides

The past decade has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the global debate over drug policy. As recently as the mid-2000s, drug legalization or even decriminalization was a fringe idea, something almost no politician would get near. That’s all changed. That the War on Drugs is a fundamental failure is a widely accepted fact among experts and even policymakers. Multiple nations no longer treat personal drug usage as a criminal problem but rather as one of public health. Many of them are actively considering following Portugal’s successful example of decriminalizing all drugs. The global trend is clearly toward abandoning prohibitionist policies.

Thu
30
Jul

UK Police In Cannabis 'Climbdown' And Other Countries' Approach To Marijuana Use

Three police forces have acknowledged that growing and using cannabis is no longer to be treated as a priority crime.

While cannabis remains a Class B drug in the UK, police chiefs including Durham’s Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, say they will not actively pursue those growing or using leaves for personal, recreational use.

And Alan Charles, Derbyshire's PCC, told the Daily Mail: "When we are faced with significant budget cuts we cannot keep turning out to every single thing reported to us."

Sat
25
Jul

Portugal's lesson in legalization

This month marks 14 years since Portugal decriminalized the purchase, possession and use of all drugs – even cocaine and heroin. As Californians consider joining Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C., in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, Portugal’s experience is instructive in setting realistic expectations and assuaging fears surrounding legalization.

Portugal saw a significant increase in drug use and abuse following the 1974 overthrow of its nearly 50-year authoritarian military dictatorship, as Portuguese returned from the country’s overseas colonies.

Thu
16
Jul

How we could harness medical marijuana for pain relief without the side effects

Experts and society are divided on the benefits and subsequent legalisation of medical marijuana.

In North America alone there is deep division with half the statesand Canada legalising medical marijuana while the other half refuses. In the UK it is not legal to use medical marijuana, but ironically the UK is home to the most successful cannabis extract company in GW Pharmaceuticals, who have a product on the market that includes a mixture of cannabis extracts.  The success of the company and for the patients it treats strongly suggests the issue might need to be revisited, and at least more research performed on exploiting the possibilities.

Tue
07
Jul

Carrying drugs for personal use is illegal. But politicians are looking at changing that

DECRIMINALISING THE POSSESSION of drugs for personal use is to be considered by the Oireachtas.

A delegation from the Oireachtas Justice Committee visited Portugal last month where the approach as been in operation for 15 years.

The public’s views are now being sought about whether a similar approach should be considered here.

In 2001, Portugal introduced a system whereby drugs were not legalised but possession of a small quantity did not result in a criminal record.

Instead, possession of illegal drugs is treated in a similar way to a traffic offence and anyone in possession must attend a treatment programme within three days.

Funding for this service is split, with 60% provided by the State and 40% by the National Lottery.

Fri
12
Jun

Video: What happened when Portugal decriminalised drugs

For 20 years The Economist has led calls for a rethink on drug prohibition. This film looks at new approaches to drugs policy, from Portugal to Colorado. “Drugs: War or Store?” kicks off our new “Global Compass” series, examining novel approaches to policy problems.
 

Wed
10
Jun

Portugal Decriminalises Drug Possession And Over Dose Deaths Come Down

Portugal is one of the first countries in the world to decriminalise drug possession. In 2001, Portugal considered holding of small quantities of drugs as a public health issue. So instead of jail time, the drug user would get a referral to the local shrink. Many predicted catastrophic outcomes, but in reality, the drug overdose deaths have come down

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