Portugal became the first country on earth to legalize all drugs, and since then, the country has gone through an incredible transformation. Drugs have less of an impact on society, there are fewer drug deaths, fewer children are doing drugs, and in general, fewer people are using drugs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but really, it makes a lot of sense. Instead of treading addiction like a crime, they treat it like what it is: a disease.
And now, Ecuador may join Portugal in ending the drug war. A new bill is set to pass and become law that addresses the drug war.
“Addressing the drug phenomenon in a repressive way, as it did in the 80s and 90s, where prison was the only place for a drug consumer, is absurd. The traditional way of regulating and fighting drugs, emphasizing criminalization … can’t be sustained in Ecuador,”
This bill seeks to do a variety of things, like reduce violent crime, reduce drug availability to kids, reduce the prison population, particularly non-violent offenders, encourage the correct treatment of addicts and protect the individual’s right to engage in drug use if they please.
The drug war has been a true failure, and while the United States is barely able to end its prohibition of marijuana, countries like Portugal and Ecuador are taking the lead. Their approach works. When will we get it together?