Drug liberalization  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Drug liberalization is the process of eliminating or reducing drug prohibition laws. Variations of drug liberalization (also spelled liberalisation) include drug relegalization, drug legalization, and drug decriminalization. The reasons given for this include the failure of current policies, the revenue to be raised from taxing drugs, the right of adults to live their life without interference from the government and the reduction in crime it is claimed will come with liberalization.

Portugal

In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to abolish all criminal penalties for personal drug possession, under Law 30/2000. In addition, drug users were to be provided with therapy rather than prison sentences. Research commissioned by the Cato Institute and led by Glenn Greenwald found that in the five years after the start of decriminalization, illegal drug use by teenagers had declined, the rate of HIV infections among drug users had dropped, deaths related to heroin and similar drugs had been cut by more than half, and the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction had doubled. However, Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, suggests that the heroin usage rates and related deaths may have been due to the cyclical nature of drug epidemics, but conceded that "decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Drug liberalization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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