What is the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing something?

The doubts, however, arise because many people end up confusing the concept of decriminalization and legalization . In addition to the grammatical difference, these two measures have different functions in society.

While legalizing is the act of making something legal, decriminalizing means absolving certain situations from crime.

Decriminalize or legalize?

Knowing how to differentiate these two terms avoids confusion (Photo: depositphotos)

Contrary to what many people may think, decriminalizing is not releasing a determination with impunity. For example, when it is proposed that marijuana should be decriminalized, this means that possession of the drug for personal use should not be considered a crime . However, the sale or possession of large quantities is still considered outlaw.

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This type of measure has as principle to reduce the damages caused in the users’ lives, creating the idea that they are not criminals but people who need help from the health sectors.

In addition, this model helps to create ways to prevent and combat sales. In Portugal, for example, anyone caught with marijuana is required to participate in rehabilitation courses.

When it comes to legalization, it is determined that the practice, previously considered a crime, becomes legal before justice. However, it is up to the government to establish the rules for the new trade.

In Brazil, and in several countries in the world, the sale, possession and use of alcohol and smoking are allowed, but there are rules that restrict the appropriate environment for the practice, the right age for consumption, who can sell etc.Likewise with other countries in the world regarding the legalization of drugs.But the more dangerous the drug is, the stricter and stricter the rules for its control are.

by Abdullah Sam
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