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Portugal’s drug experimentation

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 21, 2011

In 2000, Portugal passed a law decriminalizing the possession of drugs, continued to vigorously pursue drug traffickers and distributors, and improved access to treatment. What happened?

But nearly a decade later, there’s evidence that Portugal’s great drug experiment not only didn’t blow up in its face; it may have actually worked. More addicts are in treatment. Drug use among youths has declined in recent years. Life in Casal Ventoso, Lisbon’s troubled neighborhood, has improved. And new research, published in the British Journal of Criminology, documents just how much things have changed in Portugal. Coauthors Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Alex Stevens report a 63 percent increase in the number of Portuguese drug users in treatment and, shortly after the reforms took hold, a 499 percent increase in the amount of drugs seized — indications, the authors argue, that police officers, freed up from focusing on small-time possession, have been able to target big-time traffickers while drug addicts, no longer in danger of going to prison, have been able to get the help they need.

We Work Remotely

A French map shows that the Portuguese

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 22, 2007

A French map shows that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover Australia in the early 1520s, almost 250 years before Captain Cook claimed them for Britain. “‘The Vallard cartographer has put these individual charts together like a jigsaw puzzle. Without clear compass markings its possible to join the southern chart in two different ways. My theory is it had been wrongly joined.’ Using a computer Trickett rotated the southern part of the Vallard map 90 degrees to produce a map which accurately depicts Australia’s east coast.”

“A campaign for the Portuguese political magazine

posted by Jason Kottke   May 06, 2005

“A campaign for the Portuguese political magazine Grande Reportagem … turns flags of various countries into infographics by adding a legend”. For the US flag: “Red: In favor of the war in Iraq, White: Against the war in Iraq, Blue: Don’t know where Iraq is.”