"Current data on individuals imprisoned under the Drug Law (December 31, 2019) points to 1862 inmates (the second lowest number in the decade), mainly convicted for dealing (76%), followed by minor dealing (24%). The category ‘other’ represents less than 1% [27]. Remarkably, there is no information available for the crime of drug use. The increase of punitive responses raises the question of what happened in Portugal during the last decade and what is the actual role played by the Supreme Court judgment of 2008.

"Administrative sanctions (i.e., operated by the Commissions) and, in particular, trends from 2010 to 2019, also registered a global increase [27]. Among the decisions made on these occurrences (8150 in 2019), predominated the suspensive ones (80%), followed by the punitive (19%) and acquittal (1%). In 2018, compared to previous years, there is evidence of a higher weight of punitive decisions, although the proportion of suspended sentences, punitive sentences and acquittal have remained relatively stable over the past four years [27].Footnote9 This suggests that, despite suspensive sanctions being the predominant measure used by the Commissions (80%), the rise of punitiveness might not be limited to the criminal sphere."


RÊGO, X., OLIVEIRA, M.J., LAMEIRA, C. et al. 20 years of Portuguese drug policy - developments, challenges and the quest for human rights. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 16, 59 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s13011-021-00394-7.