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Portugal

  • By: Caitlin Hughes
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

With 7.3 percent of 15-to 64-year-olds reporting in 2001 that they had ever used an illicit drug, Portugal has historically had a moderate prevalence of illicit drug use. Since July 1, 2001, Portugal has received increasing international attention for its innovative drug policy, particularly its decision to decriminalize the use, acquisition and possession of all illicit drugs, when deemed for personal use. Use, acquisition, and possession have historically been criminal offenses punishable with up to one year's imprisonment, but with the introduction of Law 30/2000 such offenses have constituted public order offenses that are sanctioned through specially devised Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction (CDTs). The new law applies to all illicit substances including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy, provided an offender has no ...

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