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Drug decriminalization: what we can (and can’t) learn from Portugal

Hannah Laqueur, Ph.D. candidate, Berkeley Law | August 3, 2015

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the acquisition, possession and personal use of small quantities of all psychoactive drugs. Drug use is still prohibited and subject to administrative sanction, but the law eliminated incarceration as a potential penalty. Portugal’s decriminalization law has been appropriated in U.S. drug policy discussions, mostly an example of a radical and successful … Continue reading »

Vietnam and bad habits

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | January 3, 2012

NPR’s Alix Spiegel offers up a fascinating feature on the contemporary social science of behavior change that sheds light on a forgotten corner of the war on drugs with lots of implications for present conundrums of criminal justice reform (read, What Vietnam Taught us about Bad Habits). When President Nixon described illegal drugs as “public … Continue reading »