Map: Drug decriminalisation policies around the world

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Thursday 30 October 2014 11:00
news

As MPs prepare to address Britain’s 43-year-old drug laws in a landmark debate, we look at countries that have adopted some form of decriminalisation of drug possession - including America. All information comes from a 2012 report from Release, an NGO which campaigns for better drug laws.

A spokesperson for Release told i100 : "Implementing such a model does not, in fact, lead to an uptick in drug use as some suggest it might. The updated version of our report, due out next year, finds a continuation of this trend. The removal of criminal sanctions for drug possession is a model that needs to be explored on a wider scale given its success rates in other countries."

Argentina

Ruled against criminalisation of drug possession for personal consumption in 2009.

Armenia

Removed drug use and possession statutes from its criminal code in 2008.

Australia

Cannabis decriminalised in some states.

Belgium

Possession of cannabis is decriminalised.

Brazil

Possession was de-penalised in 2006.

Chile

Possession for personal use decriminalised when in private.

Colombia

Possession for personal use decriminalised.

Czech Republic

Possession is decriminalised.

Estonia

Possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use is decriminalised.

Germany

In 1994, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled criminal penalties for individuals for possession or importation of small amounts of cannabis were unconstitutional.

Italy

In 2011 Italy's highest court ruled individuals could legally grow small amounts of cannabis, Release say.

Mexico

Possession of small amounts of some drugs for personal use is decriminalised.

Netherlands

Drugs are illegal but there is a policy of non-enforcement.

Paraguay

Possession of small amounts of some drugs is de-penalised.

Peru

Consumption of coca leaves has never been criminalised.

Poland

In 2011 gave prosecutors discretion not to prosecute drug possession.

Portugal

All drug use decriminalised.

Spain

Personal possession decriminalised.

Uruguay

Possession of drugs for personal use has never been criminalised.

USA

Cannabis is decriminalised in some states.

More: Drug decriminalisation in the UK debate: What you need to know

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