Drug Possession Decriminalized


What happens when you decriminalize possession of illegal drugs?

  • The share of black market drops and might render it non-existent.
  • Higher taxes from the legal market would better go in funding higher education, infrastructure development and other social causes.
  • Portugal with a population of 10,000,000 was having 100,000 addicts i.e., there was one addict in every hundred persons. After decriminalization, the number of addicts dropped to half.
  • Now 90% of the money goes into treatment where addicts are considered as having mental problems and 10% goes in controlling the black market. It’s the opposite of some U.S. states where 90% of the money goes in controlling the black market whereas 10% goes in the treatment of addicts.
  • The addictions have decreased, selling of fake drugs has lowered and health hazards due to drug misuse can now be met in time because people can get an ambulance if they overdosed.
  • Today, as overdose deaths skyrocket all over the U.S., people who need drug treatment or medical assistance may avoid it in order to hide their drug use.  If we decriminalize drugs, people can come out of the shadows and get help.

Why was this step taken?

  • This helps people in coming out and asking for help and being open about their addiction.
  • It helps the economy of the country as well as in reducing the crimes.
  •  The money used in the criminal-justice system could be productively used elsewhere.
  • Drug-related arrests and prison sentences decrease.
  • Decades of empirical evidence from around the world shows that reducing and eliminating criminal penalties for drug possession does not increase rates of drug use or crime – while drastically reducing addiction, overdose and HIV/AIDS.
  • More than a million people are arrested each year in the U.S. for drug possession, but this has done nothing to reduce the purity or availability of drugs, or the harms they can cause.  What we’re doing doesn’t work – and actually makes things worse.

When would the world choose to decriminalize the possession of drugs?

  • First, let’s answer why the world doesn’t want to decriminalize the drugs? The answer is, if we did decriminalize, we’d find a way to break it. That’s why we can’t have nice things.
  • Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. voted during the recent election season to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Other states reduced the punishments for possessing small amounts of the drug

Where in the world is possession of drugs is not a criminal offence?

  • In the Netherlands, it works really well. Addicts can now get help without being tried for owning and taking drugs. There are even drug check places. You bring them drugs you bought on the street (selling is still illegal) and they check the purity for you. They tell you if your cocaine is (relatively ofc) good to consume or if it has been laced with other chemicals. If it’s laced, you can also rat the seller out for selling fucked up stuff and not get in law trouble at all.

How does it impact the citizens?

  • What does this mean for people? They can openly talk to someone about why they use drugs and how often, get info on what they can do and where to seek help if they want to. For example, they are fined on some level, but not like a criminal conviction. In some cities, marijuana is decriminalized in amounts under 10 grams. If you are caught you get like a $35 ticket that has the same legal impact as a minor traffic ticket. You won’t end up on probation or in jail, and potential employers will never know about it.
  • Treats addiction as a mental illness rather than a crime.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics found that the rate of kids under age 18 who reported smoking marijuana doesn’t change after their home states pass laws allowing for medical marijuana.
  • If you’re caught with a lot of it, you’ll be considered a trafficker and that’s still a crime.

  • You were caught with small amounts(for personal use) different things might happen – it will surely get confiscated and you’re likely to get a ticket.

  • You keep getting caught again and again, or, you’re clearly a “junkie” you’ll have to go get some help. They’ll send you to counsellors and you’ll to go to what is, essentially, Alcoholics Anonymous but for illegal drugs. If then, you keep getting caught, you might have to go to some serious rehab program.

General Information

Decriminalization or decriminalisation is the lessening of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts, perhaps retroactively, though perhaps regulated permits or fines might still apply. The law states that:

  1. The consumption and acquisition for personal use of plants, substances or preparations listed in the previous table [table that essentially includes all the usually illegal drugs] constitutes an offence [NOTE: Not a criminal offence]
  2. For the effects of ‘this’ law, the acquisition and detention for personal use of the referred substances in the previous line, CAN NOT exceed 10 days worth of drugs”
  3. If you have more than “10 days worth of drugs” (which is extremely subjective), it is considered traffic and that’s still a crime.
  4. The “table” of substances and plants it refers to, is essentially a gigantic table that includes virtually every usually-illegal drug.
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