So Portugal went soft on drugs and now life is honk dory. Or at least that’s the propaganda spouted by drug-first libertarians and harm minimization socialists. The other side of the story:
Studies show Portugal is a classic example of what not to do. Drug-induced deaths in Portugal climbed to 314 in 2007 - significantly more than the 280 deaths recorded when decriminalization started in 2001. While heroin accounts for most overdose deaths, consumption rates for amphetamines and cocaine doubled. Cocaine seizures increased sevenfold between 2001 and 2006, making Portugal's cocaine-seizure rate the sixth-highest in the world.
The claim that HIV cases have dropped couldn't be further from the truth. Portugal remains the country with the highest incidence of intravenous drug-related AIDS, and it is the only country recording a recent increase. The number of new cases of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C in Portugal recorded among drug users is eight times the average found in other member states of the European Union.