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Title: Decriminalization  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Drug policy reform, Buffalo Cannabis Movement, Drug policy, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Legality of cannabis
Collection: Classical Liberalism, Drug Policy Reform
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Decriminalization or decriminalisation is the abolition of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts, perhaps retroactively, though perhaps regulated permits or fines might still apply (for contrast, see: legalization). The reverse process is criminalization.

Decriminalization reflects changing social and moral views. A society may come to the view that an act is not harmful, should no longer be criminalized, or is otherwise not a matter to be addressed by the criminal justice system. Examples of subject matter which have been the subject of changing views on criminality over time in various societies and countries include:

While decriminalized acts are no longer crimes under local or state law, they may still be the subject of penalties under federal law; for example a monetary fine in place of a criminal charge for the possession of a decriminalized drug. This should be contrasted with legalization, which removes all or most legal detriments from a previously illegal act.


  • Drug-use decriminalisation topics 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Drug-use decriminalisation topics

See also


  1. ^ "Forum focuses on polygamy woes". Deseret Morning News. April 25, 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 

External links

  • Seattle Hempfest
  • Documentary film
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