Portugal's Drug Policy,
and Why It Isn't What
An essay by _Graecus_
Many people on the lower portion of the political spectrum
who argue for the legalization of drugs use Portugal as an
example of the effectiveness such a policy would have.
In order to ﬁnd out the truth in this argument, a few terms
must be deﬁned.
First, it must be understood that the use of "legalization"
and "decriminalization" interchangeably is totally
Legalization of drugs refers to total permission of drug
Decriminalization, on the other hand, refers to the
cessation of criminal penalties for drug related activities.
This just means that there is no jail time for drug related
activity; it is still discouraged by the state and offenders
can be issued citations, similarly to how trafﬁc violations
The overall purpose of decriminalization is to direct drug
users to rehab programs, whereas legalization necessitate:
that users ﬁnd help on their own.