The private Prison-Industrial complex would never let us do this in America. There's money to be made in war and the "War on Drugs" is too profitable. More than half of our federal inmates are in prison on drug convictions.
"On July 1st, 2001, Portugal decriminalized every imaginable drug, from marijuana, to cocaine, to heroin. Some thought Lisbon would become a drug tourist haven, others predicted usage rates among youths to surge.Eleven years later, it turns out they were both wrong."
"Over a decade has passed since Portugal changed its philosophy from labelling drug users as criminals to labelling them as people affected by a disease. This time lapse has allowed statistics to develop and in time, has made Portugal an example to follow."
"Portugal’s move to decriminalize does not mean people can carry around, use, and sell drugs free from police interference. That would be legalization. Rather, all drugs are “decriminalized,” meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offence, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender’s unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the U.S.)."