Tuesday 9.30pm SBS ONE
Wednesday 2.00pm SBS ONE (repeat)

Portugal's Fix

Ten years ago, Portugal took a bold step in the fight against drugs, by decriminalising the use of all drugs, ranging from marijuana to heroin.

It means people found with a small amount for personal use are referred to a ‘dissuasion commission’ for professional advice, but don’t end up with a criminal conviction. Trafficking and dealing though are still illegal.

The law was changed to try and tackle the huge drug addiction problem in the country in the 90s.

But opponents warned that rather than making it easier to help addicts, drug use would soar, with the whole problem much more difficult to police.

So ten years on, has the change in the law worked? And can other countries learn from Portugal’s lead?

WATCH - Click to see David O’Shea's report.

EXTRA - What's defined as an appropriate amount of drugs for 'personal use'? Find out more details about the Portuguese drug laws.

INTERVIEW - David talks to SBS Radio's World News Australia about his story and the impact Portugal's financial crisis could have on the drug problem.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - Do you think Portugal's liberal laws help or hinder tackling the drug problem? Click on our comments link to give us your views.

On air: 30th October 2011


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