Portugal legalized personal possession of drugs 5 years ago, usage dropped

The libertarian / conservative Cato Institute found that after five years, illegal drug use among teens declined, HIV infection rates dropped, and many more people sought medical help for drug addiction. Thus, by all measures, the legalization policy has been a resounding success.

The data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, “that is the central concession that will transform the debate.”