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Drug decriminalization vs drug depenalization

the_void

Bluelighter
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Mar 22, 2011
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239
What is the difference between the two exactly? (Portugal has decriminalization, brazil has depenalization)

Thanks!
 

JessFR

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To my knowledge, decriminalization means drug offenses cease to be dealt with criminally and stop being criminal offenses.

Depenalization means they're still criminal offenses, but the penalties are substantially reduced.
 

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
239
To my knowledge, decriminalization means drug offenses cease to be dealt with criminally and stop being criminal offenses.

Depenalization means they're still criminal offenses, but the penalties are substantially reduced.

Yeah alright the penalties are reduced, so what happens? If im a cop , can i still charge someone with possession or not

Thanks
 

JessFR

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Yeah alright the penalties are reduced, so what happens? If im a cop , can i still charge someone with possession or not

Thanks

Depends on the country. Cops often aren't the ones who charge you anyway, prosecutors do that, while cops can issue summery charges.

But, even if it's against the law, there can still be a policy telling cops not to enforce a particular aspect of the law or for prosecutors not to charge. It depends on the country, legal system, and the kind of depenalization.
 

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
239
Depends on the country. Cops often aren't the ones who charge you anyway, prosecutors do that, while cops can issue summery charges.

But, even if it's against the law, there can still be a policy telling cops not to enforce a particular aspect of the law or for prosecutors not to charge. It depends on the country, legal system, and the kind of depenalization.

Thanks, but dont feel ive gotten a clear answer (my failings ). Can you explain decreminalization vs depenalization in a way that is easy to explain to others?

“Depends on the country” - i should have been more specific - lets do the two Portuguese speaking countries on both sides of the globe - Portugal (decriminalization) versus brazil (depenalization)
 
Last edited:

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
239
So my research indicates drug penalization means it still a crime punishable by criminal record, but NO incarceration .

Drug decrim on the other hand meand no record, no incarceration

Is this correct?
 

JessFR

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So my research indicates drug penalization means it still a crime punishable by criminal record, but NO incarceration .

Drug decrim on the other hand meand no record, no incarceration

Is this correct?

It depends. I don't think there's an absolute definition.

My understanding is depenalization means you basically stop enforcing the existing laws rather than removing them. At least to some degree.
 
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