Should Drug Use Be Decriminalised?


Drug laws are different around the world, in some places possessing an illegal drug could land you the death penalty. Portugal decriminalised drug use back in 2001 and since then rates of overdose deaths, HIV and addiction have plummeted. There’s also been a massive reduction in the number of prisoners clogging up the prison system as users are offered rehabilitation instead of jail time. What do you think LiveTribers, should Australia follow suit and decriminalise drug use? Do you think it would have a positive impact on the country as a whole? Or do you think drug use should remain a criminal offence?

Posted by on 15 Apr 2019

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  • [0] [0]
    Nigel

    We should adopt the same approach as Portugal,which has been very successful at both reducing harmful drug use and crime.De-criminalise ALL drugs and treat and educate instead of arrest & jail. The number of people in U.S. jails keeps going up due to drug possession,etc and 99.9% of them are not the billionaire cartel bosses,kiiling their way to the top. Many U.S. States have legalised marijuana and are getting tax revenues to spend on what's needed,not on more law enforcement and new jails. The "war on drugs" was lost from the first day those words were used ,just like the prohibition of alcohol put it into the hands of the likes of Al Capone, so has the "war" put it into the hands of ruthless drug gangsters.

    Posted by Nigel on 06 Jun 2019

  • [0] [0]
    intrepidarts

    No - the strain on the youth in our community would be huge not to mention health services and policing - there is no positive outcome when looking towards legalisation of drugs from cannabis to heroin the active neurological disorders are there for all to see... Basic common sense from those at the coal face of emergency services would relate the detrimental impact of drugs in the community and in the home!

    Posted by intrepidarts on 24 May 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Theo09

    Of course it should be. It's criminal to keep the use of drugs illegal & make people who chose to use them criminals. Drugs and other prohibited things always leave & pave the way for curruption in high places. You can beg all you have. The biggest percentage of drugs that make it into our country do so by protection from some goverment agency. Federal police customs etc. In countried where drus are legal the use of hard drugs gave decreased . Not increased.. Alcahol is one of the worse drugs. But is legal. Cigaretest. Legal. Who has the right to say what a adult choose as their drug of choice. Everybody has one. Believe or not alcahol. TV mobile phone.

    Posted by Theo09 on 10 May 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Allan

    Yes it should be. It should be regulated as alcohol is that way we can be sure that people who choose to use drugs can do so safely. Takes the criminal aspect out of the equasion, prohibition never works

    Posted by Allan on 03 May 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Ciinna

    No bloody way

    Posted by Ciinna on 02 May 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Tanya

    Definitely . It wasn't the drugs that caused the hiv. It was the frivolity of the people then and lack of knowledge regarding HIV and blood sharing

    Posted by Tanya on 29 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Dulcie

    This is a multifaceted challenge and the question needs to be broken down to look at causes, social influences that make destructive use appealing. Key is continual education and research, social support and programs that specifically address causes. Portugal's approach is multifaceted and results reflect this. It is not a quick fix approach. The U.S. approach has a different set of results. Evaluating the reasons might help to get a sense of the underlying issues and priorities. The question of decriminilisation and choices of use for medicinal purposes requires well researched efforts and greater, visible public health education and messaging. Informed decisionmaking and accountability. Treating individuals holistically. Society deserves it as a whole. It is a societal challenge. Solutions are a shared responsibility.

    Posted by Dulcie on 28 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Pickle666t

    Yes decriminalis it

    Posted by Pickle666t on 25 Apr 2019

  • [0] [1]
    Nigel

    The "war on drugs" has been a complete failure.Drug lords get richer,more powerful and more dangerous,by the day.Drugs have been with us since recorded history and before.The drug policies in Portugal have yielded great results and should be adopted here,in Australia. Marijuana should be legalised and taxed immediately and the emphasis should be put on putting the huge criminal organisations out of business.

    Posted by Nigel on 23 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Patrick

    for medical benefits only . legalising drugs for social purposes will have no benefit to society at all . future generations will only grow up with a whole lot of mental health issues such as high anxiety ,depression , paranoia which would result in broken down relationships , high rates of unemployment , higher rates of suicides , increase in crime rates and assaults and an increase in taxes to accomodate the high rate of unemployment and midical benefits to those who cannot or will not work due to drug use . everyone deserves to return to their families safe and free from injury every evening after work , if u are working in a job where everyone around u has to be alert at all times or u could get seriously hurt , a person that takes drugs will not be because of a scattered brain . well its not very fair on a family person to get injured or worse not return home to his family because of a work collegue who was not alert due to taking drugs .

    Posted by Patrick on 22 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    musicveg

    All the things you say are already happening, legalizing drugs will not change anything for the worse, it has already proven in Portugal, which now has less crime and less drug taking.

    Posted by musicveg on 22 Apr 2019

  • [0] [1]
    Boyza

    There are people who train to prescribe/administer drugs due to the extreme danger of taking the wrong dose or the drug having a negative effect on us. They're called, doctors, nurses etc. Would you give your car keys to a person who never had any driving training? It's the same thing. To decriminalise may only limit the illegal providers' business but the same amount of addicts might still die from overdosing.

    Posted by Boyza on 22 Apr 2019

  • [0] [1]
    Babakazoo

    It depends on the type of drugs. I agree with Marijuana for Medicinal purposes but not for personal use - I have seen too many people develop drug induced psychosis from chronic marijuana use over time.

    Posted by Babakazoo on 22 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    musicveg

    This only happens with hydroponic marijuana because of the chemicals used, if people were able to grow their own naturally and organic it would not cause psychosis. I have only heard of it since hydro came about, before that no one got psychotic on it ever.

    Posted by musicveg on 22 Apr 2019

  • [1] [2]
    conso

    Decriminalise it

    Posted by conso on 22 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Paul

    Hello to all + happiness for the season. Lest We Forget to all our troops past, present + future. Total respect and revered for your courage to face hell on earth for your fellow Australians. ✌✌

    Posted by Paul on 21 Apr 2019

  • [0] [2]
    Abigail

    It should be used for medical purposes only.

    Posted by Abigail on 21 Apr 2019

  • [0] [2]
    Marii

    Only for medical purposes

    Posted by Marii on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [1]
    Praman

    I think drug use should never be decriminalized because there won't be any single youths left who wouldn't try it not only for the adults but even for the sake of the younger generation it shouldn't be legal as per new generation have a keen spirit of trying new things and may be badly influenced or addicted.

    Posted by Praman on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    ck

    Definitely Australia should get in line with other countries that have legalized or decriminalised pot. The war on drugs has failed and a new approach is warranted. It is ridiculous to think you can end up with a criminal record for growing or smoking a weed that 100,000's of Australians consume on a regular basis. Canberra & South Australia have taken steps in the right direction and the rest of the country should follow suit. Medical cannabis should be freely available for those who want it like it is in the US but our government seems determined to make access to it tied up in a whole lot of red tape & unnecessary bureaucracy. Prohibition only creates black markets & financial gains to those who supply them. Take away the criminality & it will have a huge positive impact on the country as a whole by using taxes on pot to fund education, hospitals, welfare etc and unclogging the courts with petty matters & decreasing incarceration rates. People have continued to smoke pot regardless of the laws and it is of no benefit to anyone to continue with it being illegal.

    Posted by ck on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [2]
    Andrew

    DRUG USE SHOULD NEVER BE DECRIMINALISED GOD HELP US IF IT IS EVER FREE TO USE DRUGS, AUSTRALIA AND REST OF THE WORLD WILL ALL GO MAD, THERE WILL BE ALOT OF HALLUCATING PEOPLE RUNNING AROUND. THERE WILL BE MURDERS. SORRY, I HATE THIS TOPIC BECAUSE IT SHOULD NOT ENTER ANYONE'S MIND TO LET EVERYONE TAKE DRUGS "asking for the biggest trouble.. WILL BE THE MOST STUPID IDEA IF DRUGS ARE FREE TO ACCESS. Even with control regulation there are so many effected by drugs. Our health system cannot cope with drug use, and if it is freely accessible our health system will collapse.

    Posted by Andrew on 20 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    ck

    Andrew did you not read the the preface where it states the Portugal experience of decriminalisation of drugs resulted in rates of overdose deaths, HIV & addiction plummeting and a massive reduction in the number of prisoners clogging up the prison system as they are offered rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Prohibition does not work and the war on drugs has been a complete failure as history confirms. The countries & states that have decriminalised or legalised marijuana are doing quite nicely without their populations going mad and infact their governments are profiting substantially from taxing it. Harm minimisation & education are far more effective strategies to use when dealing with drugs. Criminalising drugs creates more problems than it solves.

    Posted by ck on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Patrick

    ck it does not specify pot . how many people have u heard of that overdosed on pot . its states decriminaliseing drugs . if u legalise a class A drug like meth ,andrew is right u will have one messed up country . highly addictive and life spirals out of control fast . governments make a lot of money out of tabacco to mate but people still die of cancer . u don't go to prison for being an addict only ,your given an opportunity to clean your act up and receive rehab , but its the other offences u commit after that chance of rehabilitation , like stealing and mugging to get money for the drugs that puts u in prison . drugs cause mental health issues that u might not recover from , sure u might get help to cope with the way u are now . dont give the option to freely try these things and its possible u might save people from destroying their lives

    Posted by Patrick on 22 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    It is already happening with LEGAL drugs, alcohol and pharmaceuticals, and already the health system cannot cope. Legalizing drugs will not change anything except keep people out of jail and more into rehab, if we stop spending the money on courts, lawyers, jails and more on helping drug takers get off them then real change can happen, it is already happening in Portugal with great success.

    Posted by musicveg on 20 Apr 2019

  • [2] [0]
    Ivan

    All the problems the power's that be say will happen when drugs are decriminalized just don't happen anywhere it does get decriminalized, but they continue with the scary scenarios in an attempt to stay relevant. Grow up and stop letting ideology from the past set the tone for the future.

    Posted by Ivan on 20 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    Pat

    Medical annabis for me would help my glaucoma,have horrid drops every night. We do not need across the board use of any drugs to be legal,prescribed must be ok. Look at the addicts who have a prescription,methadone I think,easy to get.

    Posted by Pat on 20 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    musicveg

    You should be able to get Medical cannabis now, I know there is already a factory being built.

    Posted by musicveg on 20 Apr 2019

  • [1] [1]
    Trevor

    drugs and crime go hand in hand my view is you get court you do the time , and the time is longer if you don't say where you get it from , if people really want to stop this , you have to take out the top person , if that person is court and tried then you time gets cut back , after the help you need is given and working , the cost of this should be taken from the person at the top , when court , but the we have put in power would never do this because they are to f/en weak , about time they make a stand ,make the people that sell pay the price take everything they have to pay for the help to the ones below them

    Posted by Trevor on 20 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Trevor

    how many have seen a friend died because of the drugs and had to be by they side and the police did nothing even though they new who it was , they be a few of you , and at the end who pays

    Posted by Trevor on 20 Apr 2019

  • [2] [0]
    Stephen

    Why should Canberra and South Australia decriminalize laws but not the rest of Australia. I am certainly not talking about all drugs. But at least have a look at Cannabis laws again..

    Posted by Stephen on 20 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    Yes drug taking is a health and social issue not a criminal thing,only becomes criminal because people steal to get money to get their drugs. People should be able to grow their own cannabis for a start because this is a plant and no one has ever died from it. Harder drugs need to be legal for those who attend a supervised center where they can get help when needed and offered free rehabilitation. Many people want to get of drugs but there are huge waiting lists for rehabilitation centers unless you can pay heaps of money for private ones, and stay away from those run by Scientoligists which are dangerous.

    Posted by musicveg on 19 Apr 2019

  • [2] [0]
    Christopher

    Yes we should definitely follow Portugal I've known about this for many years and the results are true. It's not decriminalization for the Mr Bigs but just the user who would fill the prison system normally, and a big benefit from it is that the Government can tax certain drug amounts. Like in the USA with the Marijuana dispensaries they pay heaps of tax.

    Posted by Christopher on 19 Apr 2019

  • [2] [1]
    Nancy

    No. I don't see how this would help at all. It would just make it ok for people to use more drugs .

    Posted by Nancy on 19 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    Nancy prohibition never stopped people consuming alcohol, people still take drugs whether legal or not. Many are now taking opioids because drugs are illegal. I think you would be surprised who takes drugs these days, it is already mainstream in many circles.

    Posted by musicveg on 19 Apr 2019

  • [2] [0]
    socker

    It might reduce crime as long as it does not increase usage. Look at the problems Australia currently has with Alcohol, smoking and gambling.

    Posted by socker on 18 Apr 2019

  • [4] [2]
    Eugene

    Yes it should be decriminalized, it would open doorways for more than they think, especially reabilitation, if it went right that is, all the money spent on gaol, taking people to court, paperwork, "which is the bulk of all the money"everthing theyre wasting the money on now, could be spent on all those poor addicted people to get them off the crap, makes sense to me, just one big house in each town with two ,three people in each house "running the place" , and their ya go, drug free addicts, fingers x'ed, yeah fix it governor!

    Posted by Eugene on 17 Apr 2019

  • [2] [3]
    Ossy Sis

    My View is that as Drugs have been around, used, & Abused for Centuries & Probably will be in the Future that by Dicriminalizing them & Monitoring their Use may be a safer Option than what is currently the case inAustralia.. In my Opinion if something is Legalized then those Pedaling them would Lose the Power to abuse those taking them. Furthermore their Self Determining Financial Power would be lost.. Thus Losing the Incentive to Remain in the Industry of Destroying Peoples Lives..

    Posted by Ossy Sis on 17 Apr 2019

  • [5] [2]
    Gerry19

    Every one who uses drugs is a danger to everyone even their selves. Driving druggies kill people all the time, including alcohol. Druggies always blame their girl/boyfriend left them or a family member just died.....NO EXCUSE to turn into a zombie.

    Posted by Gerry19 on 16 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    You did not answer the question.So how you going to stop it? Nothing has worked in the past, Portugal is now showing less people take drugs now because of what they have done, changed it from criminal to a social and health problem.

    Posted by musicveg on 19 Apr 2019

  • [4] [1]
    Kerry

    Yes for cannabis but not for hard drugs. I’ve taken Ketamine and methadone for my constant pain of the pudendal nerve. These much have greater affect on me than cannabis yet I can be fined with cannabis.

    Posted by Kerry on 16 Apr 2019

  • [2] [1]
    Ulysses

    Medicinal cannabis should be allowed.

    Posted by Ulysses on 18 Apr 2019

  • [6] [2]
    Paula

    Drug addiction is not a disease you are born with or catch. It is something you do knowing it is addictive and I have no sympathy for people who take drugs. It is now called a disease, but it is self inflicted, and addicts claim to have a mental illness, which is an insult to people who do suffer from mental illness through no fault of their own, while addicts caused their psychos by taking mind altering drugs. I do not want to see drug use decriminalized because when I go out on the road I don't want to share the road with drivers effected by drugs. When I need to see a doctor, have an operation or visit a dentist I want to be sure they haven't been smoking pot or snorting cocaine. If I require the service of anyone I deserve to be assisted by a person who isn't drug effected. Clearly whatever we are doing with regards to drugs isn't working so I don't have an answer. My husband and I taught our children about the hazards of drug taking and cigarette smoking, but too tried pot and the same 2 took up smoking. They gave up pot when they observed the intellect of a friend declining and decided we might have been correct, however smoking was a different matter. Both have now quit but both suffer lung complaints from the damage. I feel we should still try and teach about the damage drugs cause and have stronger penalties for addicts and throw the book at dealers and strip them of all they own, because it had to have come from smuggling, dealing or selling. It has to hurt to work.

    Posted by Paula on 16 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    ck

    Paula you already share the road everyday with people who are drug affected whether it be by illegal or legal drugs so decriminalisation of drugs will not make it less safer. There are more accidents caused by alcohol use , mobile phone use & inattention than from drug use. And by the way addiction is not a choice as no-one starts to use with the intent to stuff up their life ,ruin relationships and end up in jail - it happens without choice and creeps up insidiously and this applies to legal drugs as well. Stronger penalties are not a deterrent. Decriminalisation takes the huge financial gains away from the 'dealers' and enables more education & rehabilitation to occur.

    Posted by ck on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    Drug drivers are already around, legalizing it won't change anything unless people have options to get off drugs, not be penalized and treated with appropriate measures. Stronger penalities will not solve anything, look at the USA there jails are full of drug related crimes and many have never hurt a fly.

    Posted by musicveg on 19 Apr 2019

  • [2] [1]
    Christopher

    Take it from me Paula it is a disease. Whether it's alcohol a drug or tobacco. You are born with it and you will seek out certain drugs of dependence at some time in your life.

    Posted by Christopher on 19 Apr 2019

  • [1] [2]
    Ulysses

    Well said Paula. You've obviously walked this road, I love your honesty ... THANK YOU.

    Posted by Ulysses on 18 Apr 2019

  • [4] [0]
    coaster

    Taking drugs has been illegal for so many years and the next generation will probably be more affected than this one. People get rich dealing out these poisons, kill other drug gangs, rob, etc. The current laws and preventatives are not working. If decriminalising lowers these statistics and frees up the jails and I assume the court system then the money saved from these benefits should go into confronting education as the younger generation seem to think it is cool, rehabilitation of addicts, etc. I agree and have said the same. When someone takes a drug they know it is addictive and illegal but peer pressure or some other excuse wins out. They kill or maim someone but plead drug abuse. Drink drivers go to jail in the same scenario so why is it different for a drug user. Both have cognitive effects on their brains, both knew they were taking the drug or drink. Manufacturers and importers of these drugs should be jailed for life and might I say not in the soft cells they seem to have these days with everything that opens and shuts. No phones, no computers etc. Jail time should be the loss of the benefits one would have on the outside. How many times do we hear they are running their "business" from inside using a cell phone. If everyone was serious about stopping criminal activity in this area it would be done much better than it is today. What we are doing is not working so time to rethink.

    Posted by coaster on 16 Apr 2019

  • [2] [0]
    Mayfield

    Drugs that are made with unnatural and harmful ingredients should remain very illegal

    Posted by Mayfield on 16 Apr 2019

  • [2] [3]
    Bernie

    Drug use encourages criminals to rob and steal from honest people. How often in court do we hear a defense lawyer say "Your worship my client had to steal (break into a home) etc because he needed the money to pay for his drug addiction". Who stuck the needle into his arm in the first place. The use of marijuana only leads to the use of heavier drugs such as heroin and ice etc. We should build bigger and better jails to house these parasites and never release them.

    Posted by Bernie on 16 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    ck

    Drugs are only expensive because they are illegal and sold on the black market - in countries where they are supplied like as with heroin in Amsterdam the addict no longer has to do illegal activities and they can go on to live a productive life and with age & maturity generally lessen their dependence with much success. People use drugs for many reasons with many doing it in the beginning because they like how it feels, just like the majority of the population like to have a drink. If i want to smoke pot that should be my right; I can grow it and it does not have to affect anyone else. It s time we made pot legal and stopped making criminals out of people who do nothing more than smoke a bit of weed.

    Posted by ck on 21 Apr 2019

  • [1] [0]
    musicveg

    Has not worked in the USA. And it is not true that smoking weed leads to hard drugs.

    Posted by musicveg on 19 Apr 2019

  • [2] [4]
    Cameron

    Decriminalize use and possessoin but not manufacturer.

    Posted by Cameron on 16 Apr 2019

  • [4] [1]
    ibby

    Yes,let people choose for themselves, just educate them first as to what they are trying

    Posted by ibby on 16 Apr 2019

  • [4] [4]
    Olena

    Yes, decriminalization can reduce the burden on the police and the criminal justice system.

    Posted by Olena on 15 Apr 2019

  • [5] [2]
    Likeable

    Definitely not decriminalize however I feel Cannabis for medical use should be made more readily available for people in need of it. This does not have the same damaging properties in it and people do find it hard to get a doctor to give a script for this. Generally speaking the answer there is NO to descriminalization.

    Posted by Likeable on 15 Apr 2019

  • [0] [0]
    Zulzack_

    I never take a drug but no good for yourself

    Posted by Zulzack_ on 15 Apr 2019

  • [6] [2]
    esoxlucius

    Definitely not decriminalise. The penalties for drug taking are not harsh enough now.

    Posted by esoxlucius on 15 Apr 2019

  • [4] [3]
    squeekums1

    Yes decriminalize Not only would it take the trade form the dealers, reducing crime. It would make the drugs cleaner and safer, reducing od. It would also provide a huge tax income, would fix the supposed budget issues. In countries that have decriminalize so much money has gone to schools, roads, healthcare, public services This country is so behind the times and dangerous on its drug approach. The war on drugs is a failed war that just costs lives and money. It helps no one apart from dealers

    Posted by squeekums1 on 15 Apr 2019

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