Decriminalization of drugs in Portugal is not the key to its success in maintaining Europe’s lowest drug, alcohol and tobacco consumption rates | Vancouver Sun

Author: James Alexander Michie

Many foreigners are aware of the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal, however, they do not really understand that drugs are still illegal.

A fact that is reality is that almost every day, foreigners come to João Goulão who is the general director of drug policy of Portugal and the architect of his radical approach, which included the decriminalization of all drugs for personal use, with them to find a solution to the problems of drug addiction in their countries. Of those foreigners who have come to Goulão, mention may be made of philanthropist Richard Branson, Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and, recently, an army of politicians and lawmakers from Norway. Luckily, the former family doctor has a significant patience which has allowed him to answer the same questions during a period of almost 20 years.

Likewise, due to Goulão’s interventions, now Portugal is fortunate to have one of the lowest drug, alcohol, and tobacco consumption rates in Europe at all ages, and the lowest rates of HIV / AIDS infection and hepatitis grouped with the use of injectable drugs. Similarly, in 2016, the number of deaths from the overdose was reduced to 26 from 40 the previous year.

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