Monday, August 15, 2011

10 years after legalization, drug use down

10 years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. In the 1990s, Portugal had a major drug problem among hard drug users with an estimated 100,000 users in a country with a population of only around 10 million. The cost of fighting these drugs, locking people in prison for these drugs, and caring for the people who have been hospitalized due to the use of using the drugs was out of control. Even with Western nations criticizing the decision in 2001 Portugal decriminalized all drugs. 10 years later drug use went down by about half. Instead of having 100,000 prisoners the country is now concerned about 40,000 patients of drug abuse. HIV/AIDS and hepatitis infections has plummeted.

Now, keep in mind. Marijuana isn't a hard drug but a soft drug. This event in Portugal further proves that if marijuana is legalized, marijuana use won't go up. Instead it'll most likely decline. When alcohol prohibition ended alcohol use went down and kids had a hard time getting to it. If marijuana was decriminalized the same would happen as businesses could grow it, have it taxed, and sell it for a lower price. Now if marijuana is legalized dealers will have a very hard time keeping their prices low compared to the local business that sells the plant to the shops which then would require an ID for purchasing while also being safer because when you buy from an unknown dealer you have no clue what could have been added to your product.

Greece has noticed this and has proposed drug decriminalization bills. The proposals state that all people, including prisoners, will have a right to drug treatment. If cannabis is grown in ones home and they're questioned for it, the grower must prove how it's strictly for personal use. This does not make drugs completely legal but it makes drugs legal for personal use. Drug trafficking will still remain a felony.

So what is the United States waiting for? As times are tough and spending money isn't an option, why are we still fighting a lost battle? Other nations are noticing the benefits of legalization. The United States has seen the benefit of legalization with alcohol but continues to ignore them!

Sources: Cannabis Culture, Politonmist

No comments:

Post a Comment