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Home > An e-tool to map models of decriminalization.

Dillon, Lucy (2017) An e-tool to map models of decriminalization. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 63, Autumn 2017 , p. 18.

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The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) is a global network of 163 non-governmental organisations (NGOs).1 It focuses on issues related to drug production, trafficking and use, promoting objective and open debate on the effectiveness, direction and content of drug policies at national and international levels. The network supports evidence-based policies that are effective at reducing drug-related harm. In collaboration with their NGO partners, in July 2015, the IDPC launched an e-tool designed to map out the models of decriminalisation for drug use or possession of drugs for personal use globally. The IDPC identified 21 countries and jurisdictions that had adopted this legal position. There is also a link to the tool through the recently launched CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign website area on decriminalisation discussed in another article in this issue of Drugnet.2


The e-tool aims to map out how these models work in practice and allows the user to explore the differences between each policy. For each model, it does this by describing their legal framework, the role of the police (if any), the judicial or administrative process, the applicable sanction (if any), and providing examples of countries illustrating each model. It makes a distinction between decriminalisation that is de jure (i.e. decriminalisation enshrined in law) and that which is de facto (i.e. drug use remains a criminal offence by law, but no prosecutions take place in practice). The e-tool is available at


1 For more information on the IDPC, visit

2 CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign website area on decriminalisation can be accessed at

Item Type
Issue Title
November 2017
Page Range
p. 18
Health Research Board
Issue 63, Autumn 2017

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