Portugal's Drug Policy Pays Off; US Eyes Lessons - CBS News YES These days, Casal Ventoso is an ordinary blue-collar community - mothers push baby strollers, men smoke outside cafes, buses chug up and down the cobbled main street. Ten years ago, the Lisbon neighborhood was a hellhole, a "drug supermarket" where some 5,000 users lined up every day to buy heroin and sneak into a hillside honeycomb of derelict housing to shoot up. In dark, stinking corners, addicts - some with maggots squirming under track marks - staggered between the occasional corpse, scavenging used, bloody needles. At that time, Portugal, like the junkies of Casal Ventoso, had hit rock bottom: An estimated 100,000 people - an astonishing 1 percent of its population - were addicted to illegal drugs. So, like anyone with little to lose, the Portuguese took a risky leap: They decriminalized the use of all drugs in a groundbreaking law in 2000.