In 2001, the world's media descended on one of Lisbon's poorer districts. Portugal had become the first country in the EU to decriminalise drug use and the coverage painted a bleak picture of the continent's "most shameful neighbourhood" and "worst drugs ghetto" where addicts openly injected heroin.
This "ultra-liberal legislation", it was feared, would lead to drug tourists descending on Portugal. The leader of the country's People's Party, Paulo Portas, said plane-loads of foreign students would head for the Algarve for "sun, beaches and any drug you like".
Yet, 10 years on, Portugal's drug policy is being held up as the model for other countries to follow. Rather than criminalising people found in possession of drugs, they are sent to a "dissuasion commission" for treatment and the results have been spectacular.
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