13.02.2020

Drug Decriminalisation Across the World

Around the world, one in five people are incarcerated for drug offences, and of those, 21% are in prison for possession for personal use. This repressive approach has had no impact on the overall scale of the illicit drug market, but has had severe consequences on drug use-related health and social harms.

Evidence shows that jurisdictions that have adopted an effective model of decriminalisation, one that ensures that people who use drugs and are engaged in other low level offences are not criminalised, prevalence of use does not increase.

Across the world, there is a growing number of jurisdictions where the possession of scheduled drugs for personal use has been decriminalised. In some countries and federal states, this has been extended to the cultivation of cannabis for personal use or the sharing of substances where there is no financial gain (also known as ‘social sharing’).

Some form of decriminalisation has been adopted in 30 countries – with significant differences and levels of effectiveness. This interactive map provides an overview of these models, offering insights into decriminalisation laws, their implementation and impact.

Discover Map
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