The US should decriminalize drug use like Portugal did

June 24, 2019, 6:30 am

Agree22 Disagree9


The debate "The US should decriminalize drug use like Portugal did" was started by historybuff on June 24, 2019, 6:30 am. 22 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 9 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

historybuff posted 5 arguments to the agreers part.

historybuff, JDAWG9693, fireball4thewin, Nemiroff, lemonpimp, MADHURA, GotWood, YonkiMonoso and 14 visitors agree.
TPSYT1, MrStealyogrill, Deat and 6 visitors disagree.

replied to...

It is no different from when the child gets into the prescription medication. Since you are harming someone else, and being most crimes are ones that harm someone, I think it is perfectly justified to put you in prison for your offense. You are always responsible for anything that happens to your child until he or she is no longer a minor, and if you put that minor's life at risk then I see no problem with you being locked up

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Is it any different than if a child gets ahold of their parent's prescription medication? If the parent is putting the child's safety in danger, then the child should be removed from the home. That doesn't mean you have to imprison the parent.

3 weeks ago
replied to...

I was actually referring to if the child gets a hold of those drugs. I do not see a difference in the child's life regardless, as both situations he or she is no longer allowed to see his parents anyway.

3 weeks, 1 day ago

I largely agree with your statement. Except for the last part. I agree that parents are role models for their kids and they should keep drugs away from them. But is sending their parents to prison better? Studies have repeatedly shown that broken homes are not good for children. Obviously if the parent won't stop doing drugs the children would need to be taken away. But you should do that by removing the children from the home, not by sending the parent to prison.

3 weeks, 1 day ago
replied to...

I do believe in rehabilitation, not jail time, for these people.

I believe this for multiple reasons, but drugs are the kind of thing you do to yourself, and if you do it to yourself it isn't really effecting anybody, so jail time would be counter intuitive. It's like putting someone in jail for self harming themselves. Also, many people do not take this into account but in federal prisons 50% of all inmates were convicted for drug use. I understand that these people could be in for multiple offenses, but regardless this would free up prison at least a little bit allowing for people of convicted of more serious crimes to be made room for, so in the end we will end up making less prisons at the expense of the taxpayer.

The only problem with drugs is that does effect the abuser's children. Parents are supposed to be role models, by doing drugs you are hardwiring a child's brain to think the same way you do thus making them more likely to do these harmful substances when they are older. If any child happens to handle any of these drugs it should be instant jail time for the parent. You are responsible for your drugs and if a child gets a hold of them that is when you are directly effecting someone else and you need to be punished for it.

3 weeks, 1 day ago

This would be all drugs. But if you disagree with decriminalizing them, could you explain why you think that would be bad?

The idea is not to encourage people to do drugs. But decades of the war on drugs has proven that putting people in jail for taking drugs simply doesn't help. Addiction is a health issue. Addicts need help to get off drugs and get their life back together. The threat of jail time has been proven to be ineffective at deterring this behavior. portugal has proven that treating people with addictions rather than punishing them is far more effective and far less damaging to people. It is also considerably cheaper to send people to rehab than to send them to prison.

So if it is more effective at stopping the behavior, less damaging to millions of people and much more cost effective, why would you want to keep the current system?

3 weeks, 2 days ago

I'm honestly pretty loose on this topic. What kind of drugs are we decriminalizing? If it's marijuana, that's alright. But if it is something like heroin or ketamine, that's where I draw the line. The main issue I have with this is irresponsible adults and their children

3 weeks, 2 days ago

This system allows for people to get help with their addictions without the risk of criminal penalties. it forces people to actually address their addiction instead of being thrown in prison where they can often continue to feed that addiction. And even if they get clean in prison, they still are likely to get addicted again when they get out because now their life has been ruined by being locked up for years. And you know what helps you hide from the reality of a shattered life, drugs.

This system has reduced addiction rates. Drastically reduced deaths from overdoses, since people can get help without risking prison. it has vastly reduced their prison population, saving a huge amount of money.

So the reasons to do this are:

1) to reduce addiction
2) to reduce the amount of drug overdoses
3) to keep otherwise law abiding citizens out of jail. This would both help those citizens as well save a huge pile of money you don't have to spend on the prison system.

3 weeks, 2 days ago

In 2001 Portugal changed their drug laws and decriminalized taking or possessing drugs (for personal use). That doesn't mean that drugs have been legalized though. Essentially, the idea is to treat taking drugs as a health issue instead of a criminal one. When someone is found to be taking drugs their case is assessed and they use non-criminal penalties to get people to do things like going to rehab. The idea is to try to get people to stop taking the drugs instead of just locking them in prison and ruining their lives.

Drugs are still illegal to sell however. So drug dealers are still harshly dealt with.

3 weeks, 2 days ago
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