If you are found with small amounts of illegal drugs, you will receive a civil offence, such as a traffic ticket. For example, you get an offence if you have less than 2 grams of methamphetamine and cocaine, or one gram of heroin, or less than 40 units of LSD and oxycodone. If you are caught with large amounts of illegal drugs, the result is a misdemeanor report and a $100 fine. In addition, violators can avoid this fine by accepting a health assessment. When governments decriminalize drug use, they typically increase harm reduction services. These services aim to reduce the risk of overdose, infectious diseases and other serious problems among addicts who have not yet recovered from their drug addiction. Portugal is just one of many countries that have ended their war on drugs. In the United States, a new, more conservative administration appears to be doubling down on strict policies and mandatory penalties for drug offenses, though there is evidence that this harsh approach is actually counterproductive. In addition, the legalization of drugs has changed the perception of cannabis among young adults. The MTF survey found that only about 25 percent of respondents thought regular marijuana use was potentially dangerous. In addition, only about 6% of young adults saw a “major risk of harm” associated with occasional marijuana use. Let`s take a closer look at the debate about drug legalization, the pros and cons of drug legalization, and what the research says about how drug decriminalization will affect young adults in particular.
Individuals would still be subject to criminal penalties for the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. Proponents of drug legalization argue that incarceration is not an effective deterrent to drug use and that decriminalization allows for the regulation of the marijuana industry such as tobacco and alcohol. In addition, they say, more people can be treated if revenue and taxes from legal marijuana sales are funneled into prevention and recovery programs, as in Oregon and Arizona. In addition, activists say decriminalization will help combat disproportionate incarceration and drug-related arrests among black and brown people. A national study found that new drug legalization in Oregon will reduce convictions for blacks and Native Americans by nearly 95 percent. Proponents also argue that legalizing and regulating drugs would make marijuana and other drugs safer for users. With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana and other drugs, the debate continues over whether the negative effects of drug decriminalization outweigh the positive effects. Researchers, policy-makers and public health officials provide arguments on both sides.
For mental health experts, however, the most pertinent question is how the legalization of drugs will affect addiction and addiction. Some people confuse decriminalization with legalization. However, a government can decriminalize drugs without legalizing them. Portugal gave a positive example of what can be done when drug policy prioritises health rather than criminalisation. At the turn of the century, Portugal was in crisis, including high levels of HIV infection among drug users. Many of the effects of the reform were felt immediately: new HIV infections, drug-related deaths and the number of prisoners fell sharply in the first decade. In the second decade, there has been a slower improvement in key interventions as well as an increase in drug-related deaths. However, many of these factors need to be put into context. Drug policy is still only one variable, interacting with a complex mix of social, economic, cultural and political factors, and cuts in universal health coverage during this period will have contributed to this. Nevertheless, Portugal is in a much better position than in 2001 and the proportion of drug use and deaths in the general population is well below the European average. Portugal`s experience is a lesson in what can be achieved when policy innovation and political will are aligned in response to a crisis, and we hope that it will evolve and play a leading role on this issue.
While ending the criminalization of drug users is enormous, both in itself and by reducing stigma and paving the way for effective public health intervention, it only addresses some of the harm caused by prohibition.52 While innovations are taking place elsewhere, including the regulated sale of cannabis in North America and the safe supply of opioids and other drugs in Canada, It is also possible for Portuguese drug policy to learn lessons and build on other reform efforts and maintain its global leadership. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 65% of U.S. prisoners live with substance use disorder (also known as substance use disorder). The majority of these individuals do not receive adequate drug treatment while in custody. You may also receive fines or warnings. Those who possess, manufacture or trade in illicit drugs for more than ten days must continue to be prosecuted. The abandonment of criminalization and incarceration of drug addicts has led to a radical change in the profile of prisoners.