The United Nations’ organisation dealing in health research and recommendations, the World Health Organisation, recently published a report which recommended worldwide decriminalisation of personal drug use.
The report itself centres around recommendations to curb the spread of HIV, but also notes that such a solution would combat prison overcrowding. It states that legislation should instead focus on harm reduction methods and alternative treatments for opioid-dependent individuals.
The report calls upon the success Portugal has had with its 2001 policy of decriminalising all personal drug use, which has yielded less drug-related deaths and a decrease in newly acquired HIV infections. This has been achieved by implementing a policy orientated around treating drug abuse as a health problem rather than a criminal problem.