stiamo tranquilli…

20 anni di dati sulla decriminalizzazione degli stupefacenti in Portogallo [EN]

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Skeptoid è un’associazione no-profit dedicata al debunking e alla promozione del pensiero scientifico, nata intorno ad un podcast settimanale di approfondimento con lo stesso nome, realizzato da Brian Dunning. L’ultima puntata del 2021 (di cui è disponibile sia l’audio, sia la trascrizione in inglese) è dedicata alla decriminalizzazione delle sostanze stupefacenti avviata in Portogallo vent’anni fa, e all’analisi dei dati raccolti da allora.

L’episodio inizia con la descrizione del “modello portoghese” (PDPM):

It is important to note the difference between decriminalization and legalization. Legalization makes the product legal, and people can manufacture, sell, and use it. This is not what Portugal did. They decriminalized the use of all drugs; meaning there are no longer any criminal penalties for drug users, however those penalties remain for those convicted of manufacturing, importing, and selling drugs. Drug dealers are still subject to the same criminal penalties as before.

Scende poi nel dettaglio descrivendo gli iter legali e burocratici del modello, gli ostacoli all’implementazione delle relative politiche, e i problemi di finanziamento del programma. I risultati, a vent’anni dall’introduzione, mostrano luci ed ombre:

Generally, at first the PDPM did work very well in addressing its primary goal: reduction of HIV infections; and that’s basically the only reason the incoming government didn’t stomp it out of existence in its infancy in 2002. And that trend has continued. The reduction of HIV cases has been its greatest success, and is about the only graph that shows a steady trend, going from 600 per year in 1999 to only about 10 today. Another, which goes without saying, is the percentage of new prison sentences that are for drug related offenses, which is down from Portugal’s high of some 40% in 1999 to about on par with the rest of Europe, around 15% today.

But drug deaths? They have not improved. Part of the reason for this is that Portugal has always had low numbers for this, usually less than half of what it is in the rest of Europe. Deaths today are about the same as before the PDPM. Total rate of drug use has also not improved, also because Portugal was always pretty low. It’s actually up a bit, again generally in sync with the rest of Europe.


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