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:
- breastfeeding in public
- drug possession, and recreational drug use
- public nudity
- steroid use in sport
While decriminalized acts are no longer crimes, they may still be the subject of penalties; 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
- Cannabis rescheduling
- Decriminalization of non-medicinal marijuana in the United States
- Places that have decriminalized marijuana in the United States
- Legal history of marijuana in the United States
- Legality of cannabis by country
- Legal and medical status of cannabis
- Legality of cannabis
- Cannabis legalization in Canada
- Marijuana Policy Project
- Colorado Amendment 44 (2006)
- War on Drugs
- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
- Timeline of LGBT history
- Drug liberalization
- Drug policy of the Soviet Union
- Public order crime
- Victimless Crime
- Legal issues of anabolic steroids
- Sex trade (Canada)
- Sex worker
- Sodomy law
- Prostitution in Rhode Island
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Recreational drug use Major recreational drugsEntactogensHallucinogensCannabinoids Drug subcultureOther Problems with drug use Legality of drug useInternationalState levelDrug policy
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