Nearly 20 years ago, Antonio Guterres made a bold decision.
The then-Portuguese prime minister decided the country's problems with drugs could not be resolved by simply doing more of the same thing, so illicit drug use was decriminalised and funding was redirected from law enforcement to health.
Dr David Caldicott, an emergency medicine consultant and pill-testing advocate based in Canberra, recalled Portugal's "extraordinary about-face" in his charismatic style at a drug policy event this week.
"It was like the Etch a Sketch was, you know, over the top of the head," Dr Caldicott said, shaking his hands vigorously in the air as if to clean the slate and start anew.
Portugal's decriminalisation policy has been an undoubted success, reducing levels of drug use, drug-related deaths and the HIV rate, among other social benefits.
It's a big part of the reason Antonio Guterres rose to become the United Nations' secretary-general.
Who among Australia's politicians might be bold enough to look at changing the way this country deals with illicit drug use, and create for themselves a similar legacy?
Here in the ACT, it is clear some already recognise the need for change.
The possession and use of small amounts of cannabis has already been decriminalised in Canberra, where it is punishable by a small fine and no conviction. Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson has proposed taking that a step further and legalising the drug for personal use, with his bill the subject of debate in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury made his views on Australian drug policy clear this week, expressing "deep frustration" at the "national disgrace" that has resulted in ever-increasing numbers of people being incarcerated, created in part because of the treatment of illicit drug use as a criminal issue instead of a health one.
The current state of play is "doing our community an enormous disservice", Mr Rattenbury says.
So what do we do about this?
Whether following Portugal's lead and decriminalising the use of illicit drugs in Australia would work remains to be seen.
There is also the argument, put forward by people like author Antony Loewenstein, that the answer is legalising the use of all illicit drugs, then raising money for education and health programs through regulation and taxing the sale of drugs in legal markets.
One thing is for sure: our country's leaders must at least investigate these possibilities and other potential reforms.
Former US first lady Nancy Reagan famously said young people should "just say no" to illicit drugs. History shows this hasn't worked. There has to be another way.