Drug Freedom Index

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The Drug Freedom Index is a numerical index compiled by Free Existence that claims to measure the liberality of drug laws around the world. The index rates the legality of recreational drug usage, possession, and sales in 247 countries and semi-autonomous regions around the world on a numeric scale. As it is the first attempt to quantify worldwide drug laws of its kind, there is some reliance on anecdotal evidence in lieu of direct legal analysis due to lack of access to primary sources (i.e., the actual written laws of some nations).[1]

As of the 2014 index, Mexico had the most liberal drug laws, scoring 9.0 out of 10 possible points due to its August 21, 2009 decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and LSD for personal use as part of an attempt to undercut the profits of drug gangs as part of the ongoing drug war there. In second place was the Netherlands with 8.5 out of 10, followed in third by a five-way tie between Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Portugal, and Spain. In contrast, the most restrictive drug laws could be found in Bhutan, which scored a mere 0.5 out of 10 due to its recent ban on tobacco products.[2]

The US states with the most liberal drug laws as ranked by the 2014 index were Colorado and Washington, each of which scored 7.0 out of 10. The US as a whole scored only 1.8, due to the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 which, while unenforced, allows the death penalty for non-homicidal narcotics offenses.[2]

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