• Figures such as those quoted above suggest that the current system of prohibition has failed to reduce drug use.
  • Comparative studies of different countries show no link between strict enforcement and levels of use.
  • Cannabis sale and use are functionally legal in the Netherlands, yet rates of use are comparable to the European average.
  • Portugal decriminalised all drug use over20 years ago but has not seen a dramatic rise in drugs use.  Deaths from drug use have reduced significantly, and levels of consumption remain below the European average.
  • Looking at overall drug use is not the best way to approach this argument – except that it discredits the prohibition argument that criminalisation reduces total drug use. Harmful use should be the critical consideration, rather than the many instances of drug use that are non-problematic. Legal regulation produces better results in identifying and addressing problematic use, not to mention removing the compounding effect of criminalisation.

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