Netherlands: Netherlands Drug Policy May Be Too Hazy for U.S.

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Feb 10, 2001.

  1. (They could actualy learn something from the Dutch policy, SJ)

    By Greg Palkot
    Source: Fox News

    How will President Bush wage his war on drugs, and who will he pick as his Drug Czar? As speculation in Washington continues, proponents of a more lenient approach to drug abuse point to some European countries where soft drugs are not illegal. But the results in the Netherlands, where smoking pot was legalized 25 years ago, are a bit "cloudy."
    And last month, the Belgian government moved to decriminalize the use of marijuana.

    Marijuana and hashish are sold in 1500 "coffee shops" around the Netherlands. Customers are allowed to buy up to 10 joints' worth of marijuana, at a cost of about $25. "Coffee shop" owner Michel Veling says the sale and the use of marijuana has become widely accepted. "It's no problem at all," he told Fox News, "No one even blinks an eye."

    In fact, "de-mystifying" the use of soft drugs, seen in the Netherlands as no more harmful than tobacco, was one of the main goals of the Dutch pot laws.

    The law was aimed at regulating the production and sale of the stuff to keep the crooks away, and ultimately to keep the Dutch away from more dangerous drugs.

    Proponents of the law believe that, by regulating the sale and the growing of cannabis (private citizens are allowed to cultivate a small number of plants at home), criminal elements could be removed from the picture.

    And if dealers are not widely active, the Dutch thinking goes, then exposure of the mainstream Dutch population to drugs will be reduced.

    "By decriminalizing marijuana," Harald Wychgel of the Netherlands Addiction Institute said, "you're in better control of the people who use it."

    But it's not quite as simple as that. Marijuana and hashish-selling coffee houses, according to the critics, are helping to turn the Netherlands into a "supermarket of drugs" for Europe.

    France claims most of the cocaine shipped there comes from the Netherlands. British police say much of their "ecstasy" is bought in the Netherlands. And some say the Dutch are not lenient just about marijuana.

    According to Frans Koopmans of "The Hope," a treatment center in Holland, "It's helped to create a situation where the use of mind-altering substances is a much more normal part of life for a lot of people."

    Still, studies show drug use in the Netherlands is no worse then many other countries, with fewer people jailed and police costs lower. Officials blame the Netherlands' historic role as a trading hub for the smuggling. But they do admit that going soft on pot hasn't solved the hard-drug problem there.

    "I don't deny there's a problem," Jur Verbeek, the Chief Inspector of the Rotterdam Police told Fox News, "we have a big problem."

    As for applications for the U.S., the Netherlands' situation might be too "special." But the Dutch on both sides of the drug issue fence do say that treating drug abuse as a sickness first and a crime second might be a good... "deal."

    Source: Fox News
    Author: Greg Palkot
    Published: Friday, February 9, 2001
    Copyright: News Digital Media 2000.
  2. It may be that those who wish to use marijuana freely ....need to help control the use of hard drugs. How do others here feel about this ?
  3. I think the responsibility falls in to each users' hands for what he/she chooses to do. All we can really do is inform the people to the best of our ability. It would be hard to take on the task, as a pot smoker, of preaching to anybody about the use of harder drugs.
    Of course, I advocate the legalization of marijuana and hash. But deep down inside, I feel that once we're allowed to take our diapers off and take responsibility for what we do as individuals in the USA, all drugs will be legal, and won't be that big of a problem.
    It's like the remote control as a toddler. Tell the kids not to touch the remote controls, and have several available, and the kid will touch the remote controls. Take away the rule banning remote control touching, and the kids no longer have a fascination with the remote. It's a long shot, but it kinda makes sense. It's kind of like the novelty wearing off.

    Peace [​IMG]
  4. I am an American and am a strong voice for lifting the prohibition on marijuana and hemp here in the U.S.

    However, I am not for the use of "hard" drugs simply because I have researched what they do to your body. I don't believe that the decriminalization of pot will lead to the decriminalization of the "hard" drugs that we need to stay clear of as a whole.

    The "powers that be" will one day understand that hemp is our most powerful resource and that the high that comes from this beautiful plant, Cannabis sativa, is natural and given to us by the most ultimate power there is.
  5. :D I live in Seattle, gateway to British Columbia and I believe legalization will reduce crime. If you can buy a particular substance out of a store, pay your "marijuana tax" and go home and enjoy it, people will be too stoned to go anywhere or do anything and the price would be within reach of everyone. I'm not saying that this would be appealing to everyone, as some "like" heroin and cocaine. However, this would give people the chance to weight "legal" or "illegal" in their own lives and make a choice. I believe legal would win. In addition, I am a former drug counselor and alcohol is abused way more than marijuana. One more point. Most of the people I know who have been caught with marijuana were caught because they were doing something stupid and got searched not because they were at home getting stoned.

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