I would encourage anyone who is interested in a balanced view of the Portuguese experience to read Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes & Alex Stevens latest paper.
A full version of the article can be found here: PDF.
It’s a good article, but there’s a point about Portugal that a lot of people seem to miss. Cue the Victoria Police:
If you’re caught by police with drugs, you may end up with a criminal record. A drug conviction may also stop you getting a job, and you may not be able to travel to some overseas countries like the USA.
In other words, if the drugs don’t hurt you a conviction will. The Victoria Police point out (quite rightly) that having criminal record is a harm in itself.
This is where the Portuguese have it right, there is no sense in the use of criminal sanction to ruin someone’s career prospects or magnify the risks of using drugs.
This is just one reason the ADLRF advocates for the urgent abolition of criminal sanctions for possession and other types of personal drug use. Please join or support our foundation today.