Portuguese drug policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines the history of the drug law and policy, the current legal framework and drivers of reform. Portuguese drug law and policy largely preceded the 1980s to 1990s development of a 'drug problem'. Consumption became a criminal offence in 1970. In 1983 Portugal incorporated components of the 1961 and 1971 United Nations Conventions, ratified by Portugal in 1971 and 1979, respectively, and increased penalties for drug trafficking. A number of different accounts have emerged about the drivers of the change with regard to Portuguese drug law and broader policy. Portugal experienced military dictatorship until 1974. Post liberation, the Portuguese Constitution placed a strong emphasis on human rights and proportionality of punishment. While Portugal had long been a gateway for drug trafficking into Europe, it had historically low levels of illicit drug use: only an estimated 7.8" of the population aged 15 to 64 had ever used an illicit drug.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean drug policies
Subtitle of host publicationThe ways of reform
EditorsRenaud Colson, Henri Bergeron
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781315690384
ISBN (Print)9781138333642, 9781138915206
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • law
  • health policy
  • social policy


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