The two memes below make the claim that legalizing drugs will actually lead to a decrease in their use.


Image states:

Portugal, A Real Land of the Free. In 2001 Portugal decriminalized personal possession of all drugs. Opponents predicted a "parade of horrors". Since 2001 drug use rates in many categories have decreased. Most notable was the large decrease in the 13-19 age group. From 2001-2005 marijuana usage was the lowest in the E.U. Drug-related disease and mortality rates have decreased. There is no serious push to reverse policy as by virtually every metric decriminalization has been a "resounding success". The American government and media have ignored this story. blog.suburra.com Greenwald, "Drug Decriminalization in Portugal" (2009)

Or this popular series of memes:

Portugal again

Portugal's president explains how his country cut drug addition in half: "We decriminalize all drugs and treat addiction as a public health issue instead of a crime -- the opposite of what America does."

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    Please add some sources where this is being claimed. I've heard the same claim for The Netherlands as wel. – gerrit Apr 20 '16 at 13:07
  • Welcome to Skeptics! We need to make this question more specific to a particular claim. If your question is simply "Did recreational drug use decline in the 1990s in Switzerland?" we can probably find some claims about it to put in the question (perhaps about a specific drug?). Asking if drug use will decline if one particular country legalises recreational drugs becomes more problematic, as it is likely based on conjecture. – Oddthinking Apr 20 '16 at 13:17
  • For what it's worth, I recall seeing a meme making this claim regarding Portugal. You should be able to get this question opened back up again easily given the number of claims I am seeing. – JasonR Apr 20 '16 at 20:37
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    Read the answer in the duplicate and the second picture above carefully. It's not decriminalization alone. – slebetman Apr 21 '16 at 4:56

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