Portugal has the most liberal drug laws in Europe. In 2001, it became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Has it worked. Yes!
Time/Maia Szalavitz/ 26 August 2009
Read or download the full report by the Cato Institute in the US: Drug Decriminalisation in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies by Glen Greenwald
Photo: Susana Vera, Reuters
Now marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and heroin will be tolerated for personal use. It's part of a bid to free up resources and jail space so that authorities can focus efforts on big-time traffickers.
Christian Science Monitor/Sara Miller Lima/24 August 2009
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Argentina follows Mexico toward decriminalizing marijuana. What does this mean for the war on drugs?
Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled that it’s unconstitutional to punish adults for private marijuana use, a big step toward decriminalizing the drug. The ruling is based on the “privacy clause” of Argentina’s constitution—private pot use doesn’t “offend public order or morality”—but it comes just days after Mexico eliminated criminal penalties for holding small amounts of drugs. And Brazil and Ecuador are close behind.
The Week/27 August 2009See also: Latin America on Its Way to Legalizing Drugs, Experts Say [Latin American International Herald Tribune]
Medical marijuana has been technically legal in Colorado since 2000. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are expected to double to 60 by the end of 2009. Illegal Marijuana farmers are now selling legally to the dispensaries.
Pic: Kathleen Chippi who runs One Brown Mouse Cannadis Healing Arts Center
'Considering the prevalence of the underground market, legitimizing the business has the effect of tightening controls over it, regulating who can legally purchase, sell, or grow it, which puts unscrupulous drug dealers out of business, this reducing the availability of product through any but official channels. The controls that come with legalization effectively reduces its availability, rather than the contrary. '
Two part article. Part of a series 'Recession Road Trip' by Christina Davidson/ The Atlantic/ 26 august 2009
By Peter Moskos and Stanford "Neill" Franklin. Moskos is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the author of "Cop in the Hood." Neill Franklin is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. Both served as Baltimore City police officers and are members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Having fought the war on drugs, we know that ending the drug war is the right thing to do -- for all of us, especially taxpayers. While the financial benefits of drug legalization are not our main concern, they are substantial. In a July referendum, Oakland, Calif., voted to tax drug sales by a 4-to-1 margin. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that ending the drug war would save $44 billion annually, with taxes bringing in an additional $33 billion.
Washintgon Post/August 17, 2009
Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera / AP
The Great American Pot Smoke-Out has been held on April 20th for many years. This gathering of thousands of people at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2009. Photo was taken at 4:20 p.m., when the entire crowd exhaled at once. See full set of pics at Time/Photos.
• 50 traffickers with links to insurgency targeted
• Move marks major shift in counter-narcotics strategy
The question of how to deal with the opium poppy harvest and drug trade in Afghanistan, the source of 90% of the world's heroin, has been a highly controversial issue for years.
Map showing operations of organised crime in Mexico. Source: Stratfor Global Intelligence Read: On The Trail of the Traffickers about the Mexican drug war. More than 11,000 people have been killed since late 2006.