The success of Portugal’s decriminalisation policy

2. Despite virtually eliminating all punishments for personal drug possession, rates of drug use haven’t skyrocketed like some predicted. As this chart shows, use had gone up slightly when measured in 2007 (a trend in line with other, similar countries), but has since gone back down. In fact, by two out of three measures, adult drug use is now lower than it was in 2001. This gives more credence to the idea that criminalising people is an unnecessary (not to mention inhumane) way of trying to stop them taking drugs.