Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm.It has been seven years since Portugal decriminalized drugs and most politicians continue to support this reform, as data collected shows drug related pathologies in their country have decreased.
More significantly, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents — from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for "drug tourists" — has occurred.
Author Glen Greenwald has written a book that says it all: "Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for creating fair and successful drug policies." A proven precedent has been set by Portugal.
What are we waiting for?
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