The medical use of prescription cannabis has been legal and regulated since April 1, 2013. [58] [59] In the 19th century, extracts of these three now illegal drugs were legal in Britain and sold in pharmacies and even family stores. Queen Victoria`s physician was a big believer in the value of cannabis tincture, and the monarch is said to have used it to counteract the pain of menstruation and childbirth. Now it is denied to people suffering from severe persistent spasticity and pain due to neurological disorders and cancer. What for? The cultivation, consumption and trafficking of psychoactive and other drugs have been taking place since the dawn of civilization. Motivations cited by proponents of drug prohibition laws in different societies and eras included religious practice, allegations of violence by racial minorities, and public health concerns. Those who are not in favour of drug legislation describe these motivations as religious intolerance, racism and public health. Since legalization would likely lead to an increase in the supply of drugs, the standard economic model predicts that the amount of drugs consumed would increase and prices would fall. [37]:428 However, Andrew E. Clark, an economist who has studied the effects of drug legalization, suggests that a specific tax or sin tax would counteract the increase in consumption. [36]:3 In addition, legalization would reduce the cost of mass incarceration of disproportionately affected marginalized communities. Of those arrested for drug possession or drug offenses, most are black or Hispanic. [39] This process of denigrating drugs by creating fear of „other people“ who use them has become a recurring theme in drug policy.

Black Americans were stigmatized for their heroin use in the 1950s. In the 1960s, hippies and psychedelics were targeted for opposing the Vietnam War. In the 1970s, black Americans in inner cities who used crack cocaine were again the hardest hit, so much so that sentences for crack cocaine possession were 100 times higher than those for cocaine powder, despite almost equivalent pharmacology. Then came the „crystal“ (methamphetamine) and the target of the „poor whites“. Today, Goulão is Portugal`s drug tsar. He was the star of eight alternating Conservative and Progressive governments; heated discussions with legislators and lobbyists; changes in scientific understanding of addiction and cultural tolerance of drug use; through austerity measures and a global political climate that has only recently become a little less hostile. Goulão is also the busiest global ambassador for decriminalization. He travels almost non-stop, repeatedly invited to present the successes of the Portuguese harm reduction experiment to authorities around the world, from Norway to Brazil, who are struggling with desperate situations in their own countries. But in 2001, Portugal took a radical step. It was the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs. It turns out that legalizing drugs is not a public policy option that lends itself to simplistic or superficial debate. It requires the dissection and revision of an order that has been conspicuously absent, despite the constant attention it receives.

Apart from the discussion of some very broadly defined proposals, there has been no detailed assessment of the operational importance of legalisation. There is not even a lexicon of universally accepted terms to allow for intellectually rigorous exchange. As a result, legalization means different things to different people. For example, some use legalization interchangeably with „decriminalization,“ which usually refers to the elimination of criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. Others equate, at least implicitly, legalization with complete deregulation, without acknowledging the extent to which currently legally available drugs are subject to strict controls. The biggest shift in global attitudes and policies has been the momentum behind cannabis legalization. Local activists urged Goulão to take a stand on regulating cannabis and legalizing its sale in Portugal. For years, he has replied that the time has not come. The legalization of a single substance would call into question the foundations of the Portuguese philosophy of drug and harm reduction. If drugs are not the problem, if the problem is the relationship with drugs, if there are no hard or soft drugs, and if all illegal substances are to be treated equally, he argued, shouldn`t all drugs be legalized and regulated? In der Mitte des 20. In the nineteenth century, the U.S. government led a major resurgence of drug prohibition, dubbed the „War on Drugs.“ .