Reform and decriminalisation can reduce deaths from drugs, the spread of HIV and usage of drugs, whilst cutting costs for the Government.
When discussing Government drug policy, you must look at the evidence, such as the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s annual report. From this, and case studies such as Portugal, I believe that all drugs should be decriminalised, in order to provide a service focused on helping drug users, rather than punishing addicted abusers.
Portugal is the main reason I think this. Portugal decriminalised all drugs in 2001. A combination of decriminalisation and reform has resulted in outcomes improving dramatically. For example, evidence here suggests that decriminalisation has been positive, whilst evidence here suggests a similar story. Consequently, Portugal’s death rate from drugs is significantly below the UK’s death rate.
Of course, it’s possible to overstate the impact of decriminalisation. But combining effective Portugese polices, such as the “Say NO! to a used syringe” campaign, and policies from other countries, such as The Netherland’s Heroin-Assisted Treatment, to construct a scientifically-backed country-wide drug policy could help reduce drug use and it’s impacts, on the users and their surroundings.
Furthermore, this would reduce costs on the government. The elimination of most trials, police work, and prison sentences concerning drug use would cause a large fall in costs, and free up valuable time for policemen, as well as mean preventing young lives being ruined by drug possession.
Therefore, I believe decriminalisation is the sensible thing to do. If you disagree, please leave a comment below, because discussion is everything.