If there was a method that would allow you to double the rate of addicts on treatment, cut the rate of HIV contraction in IV drug users almost in half and see a massive reduction in all forms of illicit drug abuse would you be in favour of its implementation?

Portugal decriminalised private drug use in all forms in 2001. The results are in and seem to be spectacular; neutralising the biggest public health concern in the country and no doubt restoring hundreds of people to real life having been addicted.

So the question is: do we do things just because they work or because they are right? And how much of our assessment that drug use should be illegal is based on the idea that it is the least-bad way of controlling the problem? And to what extent do we have to adjust for the CATO Institute’s (who wrote the report) ideological bent towards libertarianism?

And most importantly, how does this one single move with regards decriminialisation fit in against the wider picture of Portuguese economic growth over the last seven years? Is that not the biggest factor?

Your Correspondent, Is selfless, cold and composed