On July 1st, 2001, Portugal decriminalized every imaginable drug, from marijuana, to cocaine, to heroin.
Some thought Lisbon would become a drug tourist haven, others predicted usage rates among youths to surge.
Eleven years later, it turns out they were both wrong....
The resulting effect: a drastic reduction in addicts, with Portuguese officials and reports highlighting that this number, at 100,000 before the new policy was enacted, has been halved in the following ten years. Portugal's drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states, according to the same report.
One more outcome: a lot less sick people. Drug related diseases including STDs and overdoses have been reduced even more than usage rates, which experts believe is the result of the government offering treatment with no threat of legal ramifications to addicts.
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