Smartshop drug sales controversy continues

The heated debate over the sale of so-called legal drugs in smartshops in the Algarve, as well as the rest of Portugal, once again came under the spotlight when police had to be brought in to control a man who went berserk and almost completely wrecked his apartment in Faro, while under the influence of substances he bought in a smartshop.

The man, a 39-year-old engineer, who sustained serious injuries after smashing bathroom mirrors and destroying other contents, had recently been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Lisbon but was later released after his paranoia had subsided.

According to newspaper Correio da Manhã, his obsession with smartshop drugs started a year ago after he returned to Portugal from Angola, where he had undergone a separation from his wife and two children and lost his job.

Once he was under the influence of the substances, he was also a threat to his elderly parents with his violent behaviour.

His 76-year-old father told the newspaper that the so-called legal drugs had destroyed his son. “It’s inconceivable that these substances are freely sold in smartshops,” he said.

The government is currently analysing a law proposal to regulate the sale of various substances sold at smartshops, which is likely to lead to an update of the country’s ‘illegal drugs list’. The Secretary of State for Health, Fernando Leal da Costa, has confirmed that the law proposal would be submitted to Parliament for discussion soon.