A Look at the Nations Trying to Decriminalize Drugs

Issues Rights

For some time now there has been the debate of whether or not the use of drugs should be considered to be a criminal offense. Every country has experienced its very own ‘war on drugs and many seek to make the consumption of drugs a medical matter rather than a legal one.  

It is predicted that up to 40% of inmates worldwide are incarcerated due to drug-related charges, some of which being based around drugs are harmless as marijuana. Much like drinking and smoking, many people believe that what others put in their bodies should be up to them and it doesn’t make sense for the usage of drugs to be an illegal offense.  

It is also believed that the criminalization of drugs is one of the main reasons there are so many cases of drug-related crimes, as drug use has become an unmonitored underground operation. The fact that drug distribution can lead to so many criminal charges is another reason why the drugs that are on the streets are unregulated and even dangerous. Many people believe that it would be more beneficial to people who are addicted to drugs for drugs to be decriminalized, as this will make drug use much safer than it currently is in the shadows.  

Though not everyone agrees with drug use, it is hard to deny the benefits of decriminalizing drugs. The benefits are so vast that many nations are now on the mission to ensure that drugs are decriminalized. Here are some of the nations trying to decriminalize drugs.  


The Netherlands  

It would be wrong to write an article about the decriminalization of drugs without mentioning The Netherlands. The Netherlands has been at the forefront of drug decriminalization for some time now, with drugs like marijuana and shrooms being easily accessible. Though The Netherlands has always been open to the use of lower-rated drugs, they are now trying to decriminalize a more extensive list of drugs.  

The reasoning behind this is not to encourage people to pick up addictions. In fact, the main reasoning behind this new development is to try and support the nation medically. The Netherlands offers a fantastic health care service, but they realized that they were unable to support their people as much as they would like due to the stigma and rules surrounding drug usage. They hope that if there isn’t a criminal consequence to the drug use, people will be more open to gaining help for their addiction.  

There are currently test runs throughout the Netherlands for ‘drug safe spaces’. Within these buildings, people have access to clean equipment that they can use to take their drugs. They can also take their drugs within the building, where they can be monitored by trained medical professionals. These drug safe spaces have had some controversial responses as people believe this is only encouraging people to continue drug use. However, this is far from the case. The government is more than aware that they are not able to stop drug use, but they do believe that they are able to decrease the number of deaths associated with drug use due to dirty equipment and isolated usage.  


The US 

Though there are limits in the drugs that the US is willing to decriminalize, the US is still taking small steps in the right direction. As of right now, you can buy weed in many US states and even buy weed online to be delivered to your door. The main reason behind the decriminalization of marijuana within the US was the associated benefits that Marijuana has.  


Marijuana can be used to treat a number of medical ailments and mental issues and has very few side effects which make it safe to use. For years and years, there was an issue with gang violence in relation to the sale and consumption of marijuana. It felt silly to have such a problem with a harmless drug when it could be sold under moderation.  Since the introduction of marijuana vendors, there have been far fewer inmates being incarcerated on drug charges. Though this is extremely positive, many demand justice for those currently serving time in US prisons for marijuana-based charges.  



Australia is known for its laid-back attitude and openness to new ideas. Australia listened to its people and has now started making moves into the legalization of drugs. Though there is nothing currently in place, Australia plans on starting with the legalization of marijuana and working its way up from there. The legislative process will take some time, but they hope to be able to break down the stigma surrounding drugs and provide more accessible medical care to its citizens. They also plan on reviewing the charges on those serving time for marijuana-based crimes, but there is no confirmation on their exact plan of attack.