Legalize: All drugs?

A couple thoughts: (1) video games from Pac Man and Mario on have had druglike bonus items, and you can’t really win the game without them; (2) privileged people can do all the drugs they want and it rarely comes back to bite them legally.

Playboy magazine explores some arguments for total legalization, spending drug war monies on on treatment (when necessary), as opposed to war.

Activists often turn to Portugal as a model for a more pragmatic and humane approach. Facing a breaking point with their heroin crisis, Portuguese lawmakers started looking into new strategies in 1999. They implemented a policy in 2001 that decriminalized drug use and funded a system of social workers, clinics, and treatment centers. Following decriminalization, Portugal saw a decrease in HIV infections, addiction, overdoses, and drug-related prison sentences. From 1999 to 2015, the amount spent per capita on “drug misuse” went down by 18 percent. Meanwhile, there was a 60 percent increase in addicts seeking treatment. In an article for The Guardian, Susana Ferreira attributes Portugal’s drug laws to a “major cultural shift” and argues that these policies were “merely a reflection of transformations that were already happening in clinics, in pharmacies and around kitchen tables across the country.” 

Daniel Spielberger

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