Health officials say those found with up to 2.5 grams of specific drugs receive information and referrals to local health and social services from law enforcement. In the United States, the 10 states with the highest drug overdose rates range from 39.1 deaths per 100,000 people in Connecticut to 81.4 deaths per 100,000 people in West Virginia, according to the latest 2020 mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control. Decriminalization expands access to drug treatment and other health-related services by promoting openness about drug use. Portugal is considered a success story in this regard. Since the introduction of a health-based approach to illicit drugs in 2001, morbidity, mortality and HIV incidence among people with addictions have declined, while treatment admission rates have increased.14 Some harm reduction services have also emerged, although safe use sites and naloxone are not yet available. However, ibid. Portugal has only partially decriminalized drugs, and the continued focus on deterrence means that inclusion in treatment is not always consensual. Currently, possession of illicit drugs that exceed a low threshold is criminalized, while possession of small amounts can be medicalized.23 Drug use is still considered evidence of illness, and users are forced to participate in „deterrent committees” that promote „recovery,” including ordering a user to undergo medical treatment. The International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) writes: Approval of additional requests will depend on the scale of drug overdoses in the region and other factors, such as whether decriminalization will distract people from the criminal justice system and „improve” health services, Dr. Bennett said. federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
The promotion of legal regulation is based on harm reduction philosophies and ethics. It is a social justice movement that aims to reduce not only the dangers of drug use, but also those arising from politics, drugs and others. Initiatives prioritize the dignity and autonomy of all people who use drugs (IDUs), while strategically enhancing knowledge, skills and resources through direct action, mutual aid and peer-to-peer support.3 From this perspective, drug use is morally neutral behaviour that should be as safe as possible. whether medical, recreational, compulsive or in a combination of these. Vancouver police are already prone not to charge drug users with personal possession in a so-called „Vancouver bubble,” said Mark Haden, a drug policy expert and associate professor at the University of British Columbia. „The message is that we`re starting to see this as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue,” he said. „Decriminalization alone will not prevent people from dying from overdoses,” said Tera, executive director of the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance. However, the impact of law enforcement changes with decriminalization. In Portugal, where partial decriminalisation has been a national policy since 2001, the profile of prisoners has changed. Before decriminalisation, 40% of convicted prisoners were convicted of drug-related offences and 70% of which were convicted of drug-related offences, most of them minor.20 By 2019, the proportion of people convicted of drug-related offences in Portuguese prisons had fallen to 15.7%, and law enforcement priorities shifted to trafficking rather than simple possession. Ibid. While this is a significant improvement, it remains problematic.
In 1929, the Opium and Narcotic Control Act was passed, which set harsher penalties for drug users.  This regulation would become the primary drug regulation in Canada in the late 1960s. In 1954, the sentence for drug trafficking was doubled from seven to fourteen years.  During this decade, the media published some very sensational reports on drug use among adolescents, while the rate of drug use in Canada was declining. [ref. needed] In 1961, the Narcotic Control Act made it a criminal offence to possess cannabis, as well as other drugs, and set the minimum sentence for drug trafficking at fourteen years (as opposed to the previous maximum penalty).   The exemption, announced Tuesday by the country`s Drug Enforcement Administration, comes four years after the country legalized the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, making Canada a small group of countries around the world that have taken steps to decriminalize illicit drugs.