By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, there is a united call on the part of the relevant authorities in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver for the decriminalization of hard drugs.

As reported, “Among this pro-decriminalization camp, there is one word that is mentioned constantly: Portugal, the country that pioneered across-the-board drug decriminalization in 2001. Portugal has not legalized drugs. Far from it.”

The article continues to state the selling of cannabis will be legal in Canadian society soon. This same use can put someone in jail in Portugal. The decriminalization of hard drugs in Portugal was in 2001 for individual consumption.

“Anyone caught with more than a 10 days’ supply of drugs is still regarded as a trafficker and criminally prosecuted. In 2010, roughly one fifth of the country’s prison population was put there by a trafficking conviction,” the articled stated.

Portugal put forward a complete ban on the cultivation of the drug. That even means for the personal use of the substance as well. The country continues to lag behind the Western world in the approving of medical cannabis.

But two months ago, Portugal approved its first bill for the authorization of cannabis for its medical use. The use of substances  did not rise in a rapid fashion or really at all after the decriminalization.

That is, there were a number of fears over this decriminalization. However, this did not lead to many purported problems.

“In fact, recorded drug use has one down in certain key categories, including among young people and injection drug users,” the article explained, “‘There is essentially no relationship between the punitiveness of a country’s drug laws and its rates of drug use ‘wrote the drug reform think tank Transform in an analysis of Portuguese drug use data.”

There is further conversation in the reportage on the addicts, legal sanctions, deaths and infection rates going down, the uncertainty of how the decriminalization affects the benefits to the population (unknown pathways of actions post-decriminalization), and the decriminalization is not a panacea.

Photo by Tim Johnson on Unsplash

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

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