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Capisonda, Claire Iris J.

Capisonda September 4, 2017

Possible Effects of Decriminalization of Drug Use on the Efficiency and
Performance of the Courts in the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan


In the face of the growing drug trade in the Philippines and a corresponding
increase in the number of drug-related cases flooding its courts, one of the
possible undertaking seen as a solution to deal with such problem is the
decriminalization of the use of illicit drugs, which has been most unexplored drug
control policy. Under this regime, the use of drugs and their possession for
personal use are permitted and are otherwise addressed as health issues rather
than a criminal one as opposed to legalization, which liberalizes both the demand
and supply side of the drug trade, enabling drug transactions to occur in a legally
regulated fashion, decriminalization addresses only the demand side of drug

This paper aims to examine how decriminalizing drug use would affect the
performance and efficiency of the judicial body. Drawing upon independent
statistics analysis, evaluations and interviews conducted with administrative as
well as judicial officers, it critically analyses the likely enduring consequences it
may have to the courts of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan.