Drug laws on possession: several countries are revisiting them and these are their options

No models lead to increased drug use
The Conversation (UK)
Friday, August 2, 2019

decrimMany countries are changing the way they approach people who use drugs. The Irish government has just announced possible alternatives to criminalisation for possession of some drugs. Other countries, including Norway and Malaysia, are weighing options. But what can countries do if they don’t want to arrest or convict people because they use drugs? To inform the Irish government’s decision, we carried out a detailed review of approaches in various countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK and the US. We found three main approaches: depenalisation, diversion and decriminalisation. Given some models bring greater long-term gains, there is merit in arguing that governments ought to be bold.