Portugal, first country to discriminate the drug

If you think that the country that has more legalized drugs is the Netherlands you are wrong, and although it is a popular place to buy marijuana as if it were coffee, they have never legalized it, they simply do not exercise authority over this type of business. The country that officially abolished the law that penalized the possession of drugs for personal use, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, is Portugal.

One of the methods used in public policy to deal with the problem with drugs is that the penalty in a prison has been changed by therapy. According to publications of the TIME magazine portal, the main argument is that the fear that addicted people present of being in prison causes Social isolation and the cost of incarceration is much higher than that of a treatment, so why not offer better medical services?

Under the regime of Portugal, if you are found guilty of possessing a greater amount of certain drug, those who are guilty are sent to a multidisciplinary help panel which consists of a psychologist, a social worker and a lawyer to find the most appropriate treatment.

Portugal occupied one of the first places of drug use in Europe, but the results thrown by the Cato Institute (Institute of Public Policy Discussion) after its decriminalization indicate that the drug use has lowered its levels and infections of HIV for contaminated needles as well, while requests for treatment for drug addiction doubled.

The Cato Institute reports that since the beginning of the new policies, when the use of drugs was discriminated in 2001 and until 2006, the rates of illegal drug use in young people from the seventh to the ninth grade they fell from 14 to 10%, and consequently their use in older adolescents also fell. HIV infections by injection drug users fell by 17% and deaths from heroin use were reduced by more than half.


Case of interest for Mexico

Compared to the European Union and the United States, Portugal presents the lowest rate of marijuana use (in absolute terms, that is, during the course of a person's life) in people over 15 years of age.

The resources that used to be used to persecute or imprison people addicted to drugs are now available to provider treatment programs . This type of policies according to the Cato, have improved the diseases related to drug addiction, such as mortality in overdoses and diseases of infection by contaminated syringes.

The case study of Portugal is of interest to many other countries, especially those that face an increase in the use of drugs as reported by Mexico and the United States.

This beginning of the month has begun on Dialogue for Security, convened by President Felipe Calderón, who opens the discussion around the regulation of drugs in Mexico. In this framework, the political scientist and conflict resolution adviser Joaquín Villalobos pointed out that "it is not the same to treat addicts, to have a public health problem such as addictions, to combat de facto powers (power outside the formal channels) criminals who dominate territories and replace the State. "

If you are interested in reading the complete study visit the page: //www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf