It’s been five years since Portugal decriminalized the use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and LSD and the results are in. The number of street drug overdoses has dropped from 400 to 290 annually and new cases of HIV caused by dirty needles has dropped from over 1,500 to 400 annually “Now instead of being put into prison, addicts are going to treatment centers and they’re learning how to control their drug usage or getting off drugs entirely,” wrote the authors of a report commissioned by a Washington, D.C. libertarian think tank. The Portuguese plan still imposes jail time for drug dealers but people in the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use are brought before a “Dissuasion Commission” which imposes small fines and offers treatment options to users. (Scientific American)

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