Decriminalization of use of narcotics: yay or nay?

Expansion of medical and social services for persons suffering from addiction to narcotics should be one the main priorities for the near future, as Latvian Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts and Coordination Council for Drug Control and Drug Control during a meeting on 29 September.
Representatives of the council said once such services have been introduced, specialists and politicians would be prepared to commence talks on the possible decriminalization of
consumption, purchase and storage of small amounts of narcotic substances for personal use.
According to the minister of health, persons suffering from addiction to narcotic substances have access to a very limited and fragmented range of services in Latvia.
«Healthcare should work to develop non-medical treatment programmes. At the same time, social services that support people and their relatives on the path of addiction removal using proven methods should remain accessible,» said Pavļuts, adding that once services have been implemented successfully, it will be possible for Latvia to commence talks on decriminalization of use of narcotics.
According to information from the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre, the percentage of existing and new narcotics users is on a rise.
Data shows the most problematic group of addicts are people using carfentanil (synthetic opioid). Use of heroin is down in Latvia. The Ministry of Health notes as a positive the fact that more and more opioid addicts enter state-funded treatment programme.
Information from Latvian State Police shows that marijuana is confiscated the most often from the black market in the country. Marijuana is also often found cultivated by residents. Residents also often use online communication to order narcotics.
In recent years authorities have intercepted a large shipment of narcotic substances in Latvia.
TI reduce the supply and demand of narcotic substances, the Council of Europe approved the 2021-2025 strategy in December 2020. This strategy is based on respect and protection of human rights. The strategic goal is providing people with high level health protection, social stability and security. In June 2021 the Council of Europe approved an action plan that includes specific activities to implement the priorities defined in the strategy.
The plan also provides for innovative approaches to provide alternative solutions to the usual sanctions. The European Commission is currently developing guidelines for the adoption of alternative measures.