It’s collectivist and it’s consequentialist (the state’s still involved, and the drugs aren’t decriminalized because it’s thought that adults own themselves and thus can ingest what they wish), but it’s clearly one of the better ways to handle the social issue that is drug abuse within the current western political paradigm. That this is a better way than the prohibitional, morally and practically repugnant, and embarrassingly hypocritical (U.S. and allied troops guard the poppy fields in Afghanistan, as one spectacular example), “war on drugs” policy carried out in the United States is so obvious that it’s amazing that the approach still has any support at all anywhere, even among non-libertarians, as dangerous as illegal drug trafficking makes many places.
It probably doesn’t have much support anymore, in reality, I suspect, and so here’s an example of a better way to do things once enough people finally snap out of it and want to try something else.
Decriminalization: A Love Story
By SUSANA FERREIRA When the drugs came, they hit all at once. It was the eighties, one in ten residents slipped into the deep of heroin addiction-bankers, university students, carpenters, socialites, miners-and Portugal fell into a panic. The way Álvaro Pereira tells the story, it all began in the south.