Almost 30 countries now have some form of decriminalisation

Twenty-nine countries – or 49 jurisdictions – worldwide have now adopted some form of decriminalisation for drug use or possession for personal use, according to a new interactive tool from Release, Talking Drugs and the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). 
Click to view the interactive map of global drug decriminalisation.
Click to view the interactive map of global drug decriminalisation.

The interactive map gives an overview of the different decriminalisation models, as well as their implementation and impact: It includes countries such as the USA, where some states have decriminalised cannabis possession, for example, despite it remaining illegal at federal level. 

‘In Portugal, decriminalisation has significantly reduced health risks and harms,’ said IDPC Executive Director Ann Fordham. ‘But that’s not the case everywhere. 

In Russia and Mexico, ill-designed models have exacerbated incarceration rates and social exclusion. When designing decriminalisation models, governments have to carefully review the evidence of what does and doesn’t work to ensure success.’  

Release executive director Niamh Eastwood
Release executive director Niamh Eastwood

‘What we really wanted to show here is the number and diversity of existing decriminalisation models adopted all over the world,’ added Release executive director Niamh Eastwood, ‘and what the real impact is on the ground in terms of health, human rights, criminal justice and social justice outcomes.’ 


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