TalkingDrugs, an online platforms dedicated to providing unique news and analysis on drug policy, harm reduction and related issues around the world, published an interactive map which provides an overview of decriminalisation models, offering insights into decriminalisation laws, their implementation and impact.
The criminalisation of people who use drugs compounds drug-related challenges and worsens health and welfare outcomes. The gold standard of decriminalisation is the removal of all punishment for drug use, and the availability and accessibility of evidence- and human rights-based harm reduction, health and social services on a voluntary basis.
Across the world, there is a growing number of jurisdictions where the possession of scheduled drugs for personal use has been decriminalised. 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. 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’).
The following elements are included in the map:
- Threshold quantities used to determine whether the activity is decriminalised (if there are no thresholds other considerations used are outlined);
- The agency responsible for determining the activity is decriminalised;
- The activities that are decriminalised, and for which substances;
- The applicable administrative / civil sanctions or whether no sanctions are applied.
In South East Europe, only Croatia adopted decriminalisation of possession a ‘small quantity’ of any drug. The decriminalisation of drug consumption and possession for personal use means that the person no longer has a criminal record, so the stigma associated with people who use and/or are dependent on drugs is reduced. The law also gives more flexible treatment options. Croatia’s model of decriminalisation is codified in the country’s laws through statutory reforms and was introduced in 2013.
This map has been developed in partnership with Release, the International Drug Policy Consortium, and Accountability International, thanks to the financial support of the Robert Carr Fund and Open Society Foundations. This map will be updated regularly. If you do have any comments or feedback please contact Talking Drugs.
To see the map and all data it contains, follow this link>>>