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Portugal Decriminalises Drug Use

By adrien in MLP
Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 03:58:00 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

The Guardian last week reported that Portugal recently decriminalized all drug use (not just cannabis). The Portugese have decided to treat drug use "as a social problem rather than a criminal one".


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Portugal Decriminalises Drug Use | 13 comments (9 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
I like the idea of... (3.85 / 7) (#1)
by pallex on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 12:25:18 PM EST

... drug dissuasion commissions!

"So, you gonna stop taking drugs, or are me and John gonna have to dissuade you for another 4 minutes..."

progressive / conservative (4.14 / 7) (#2)
by adrien on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:12:07 PM EST

The author paints a picture of Portugal as "a socially conservative country with traditional Catholic values". This may be somewhat the case, but I have also found Portugal and also Spain to be very forward thinking and open minded, that is, not very conservative. (and I think the news itself sort of supports this...)

Just my theory, but I would chalk the open mindedness up to a large portion of the popluation who lived under a fascist regime (Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal) which ended only recently (75 and 68, respectively)).

If there are any Iberians in the room, I would love to hear some opinions... (and please tell me if i'm putting my foot in my mouth)

75/68 (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by camadas on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 06:00:04 PM EST

Don't know about Spain, but in Portugal the regime only ended in 24-4-74. I think you're thinking about the date Salazar died, not the end of his regime.

[ Parent ]
The real reason (4.85 / 7) (#5)
by jneves on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:58:10 PM EST

The drug use decriminalization is the responsability, in a big part, of Almeida Santos, the president of the portuguese congress - in terms of protocol he holds the second place on the hierarchy (he's the one who replaces the president if he's not available). He had a son who died from overdose and has been lobbying for a social solution instead of a criminal one since before his death.

As for the portuguese being conservative, we still have big differences between north and south (the northern people is more conservative and most of the south is left-wing oriented). Taking into account the recent results of the referendums about abortion and regionalization, I would say that only the fact that Almeida Santos was behind the proposal and that the left-wing parties have a majority in congress made this possible.

Daughter ? (none / 0) (#11)
by urgan on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 06:23:06 PM EST

Was his son or daughter ? ( bom ver outro "tuga" por aqui)

[ Parent ]
this is great, but just the beginning (3.50 / 4) (#8)
by botono9 on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 04:55:03 PM EST

I am very happy to see this happening, but the changes have only just begun for Portugal. Now they have to decide how to deal with the specific drugs. Laws that treat cannabis the same as crack or heroin are looking for problems.

In regards to heroin, they should be opening methadone maintenance programs and experimenting with heroin and morphine maintenance programs to see which work the best.

Hopefully this announcement will be followed by copious research and the application of scientific findings to legislation. Maybe Portugal and the Netherlands will begin having conferences to discuss the best methods of harm reduction.

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson

One goes to the beach ... (2.33 / 3) (#10)
by urgan on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 06:20:06 PM EST

... and chaos installs at home ? This law, or project of law, since this government it's not in the position to impose anything this time, only decriminalized consum. That's it. One can still go to jail for traffic, like many arrests shown this month. Don't get the wrong idea, we're not that crazy around here.

Note too (4.50 / 2) (#12)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 02:56:35 AM EST

that there is a vigorous debate in england right now about drug legalization, which was recommended by a highly-placed member of the tory opposition before the election, and was wholeheartedly endorsed by the economist today.

American coverage (none / 0) (#13)
by botono9 on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 09:49:46 AM EST

I'd just like to note that I haven't found any mention of this story in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times or MSNBC (online versions only). I was just hitting the biggest American print news sources I could think of right off the top of my head. What are some of the other biggies? I'm at work and don't have time for much in-depth snooping but so far the major press is pretty silent over here (US).

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson

Portugal Decriminalises Drug Use | 13 comments (9 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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