Sunday, April 5, 2009

Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

From Drug WarRant by Pete Guither

Reminder: Glenn Greenwald will be at the Cato Institute tomorrow (Friday) at noon Eastern to talk about his paper: Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies. Peter Reuter will be responding, and Tim Lynch, moderating.
If you can't get to the Cato Institute, you can watch the event live here.

The paper itself is now available to read online at Cato or you can download the pdf.

It's a fascinating paper.

It's amazing how little we have discussed Portugal and their drug policies in the states. I would imagine that is, in part, a function of how unfamiliar we are with the language. Fortunately, Glenn is fluent and bridges that gap for us.

Decriminalization in Portugal really works. It's certainly not what I would wish for an end goal here - I want to see regulated legalization, not merely decriminalization. Yet what Portugal has in place is far superior to our criminalized approach. It's more effective, it's smarter, and it's more... human. We can learn a lot. In particular, we can learn that moving away from criminalization will not result in the social breakdown that is the warped fantasy of prohibitionists.

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