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Dr. Kasia Malinowska (left) of the Open Societies Foundation, Global Drug Policy Program and Dr. Joao Goulao (right) the Drug Czar of Portugal discuss the benefits of drug decriminalization at the Rutgers School of Social Work.

Portugal which has decriminalized all personal drug possession and has a population of more than one million more people than New Jersey, experiences only 27 fatal drug overdoses a year. Additionally, Portugal spends roughly $70 million a year on treatment which is highly effective.By contrast, New Jersey criminalizes all drugs, experienced 3,163 overdoses in 2018 and spends $1.2 billion annually on drug treatment which is largely ineffective.

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