In Portugal, the possession and use of all illicit drugs for personal use were decriminalized in July 2001, following the enactment of Law 30/2000. Despite this shift, cannabis remains an illegal substance, and its use is largely confined to private settings or through membership in social clubs, as public promotion of cannabis is not permitted. The decriminalization model in Portugal has been a topic of discussion due to the limited legal access to cannabis, raising questions about the effectiveness and outcomes of such policies. To address substance use, Portugal employs an administrative approach where consumption, purchase, or possession of up to a ten-day supply of drugs is assessed by a panel that recommends appropriate responses ranging from treatment to fines or warnings.
The global perspective on cannabis use is diverse, with some regions experiencing significant health implications following the legalization of medical marijuana. In the United States, for instance, certain areas that legalized cannabis saw a decrease in opioid prescriptions and an increase in tobacco sales, suggesting complex and varied public health outcomes. Federal law in the U.S. continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, indicative of high potential for abuse, despite the liberalization of marijuana policies at the state level.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that marijuana and some cannabis-infused products, including certain Cannabidiol (CBD) oils, remain illegal under federal law, except for those with no more than 0.3 percent THC or approved by the FDA. As the debate over the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis continues, it underscores the nuanced and ongoing dialogue regarding drug policy and public health.
The international policies on non-medical cannabis use and their outcomes are complex and varied, shaped by cultural, legal, and health considerations. Portugal’s decriminalization policy presents a case study in balancing the challenges of drug use with the limitations of legal frameworks.
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