The lost war

by druginc

The lost war "war on drugs" - mr. Kaj Hollemans, KHLA

By: mr. Kaj Hollemans, KH Legal Advice

According to Minister of Justice and Security Grapperhaus the production and distribution of all drugs from the heaviest category in the Opium Act (cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and ghb) must be tackled very hard. The minister argues for a 'War on Drugs' because legalizing these drugs would not be an option. However, if anything has become clear in recent years, it is this: the 'War on Drugs' is failing all over the world. Worldwide, more than 90 billion euros is spent on this war. Despite the huge amount of money invested in combating drugs, the challenges are increasing rather than decreasing.

A recent one investigation report of the International Drug Policy Consortium - a global network of civil society organizations with more than 170 nongovernmental organizations involved in drug policy - shows that drug use has not decreased, but has increased by 2011 percent (!) between 2016 and 31 increased. Illegal drug markets have expanded relentlessly to meet this growing demand, with opium production increasing by 2009 percent and coca production by 2018 percent between 130 and 34.

In short, the 'War on Drugs' is not a solution and is counterproductive. As soon as the law and police put more pressure on the drug market, the risks increase and the profit margin increases. That in turn attracts more serious crime, with all its consequences.

Recently a doctor from Nijmegen, Kees Kramers, argued that xtc legal should be. According to him, legalization would lead to less crime and fewer dumping of dangerous chemical drug waste. Professor of addiction care Wim van den Brink had previously indicated that it would be better than the government xtc, just like cannabis, regulates.

The reaction of the CDA, the party of Minister Grapperhaus, to such initiatives is unfortunately quite predictable. The CDA does not want to recognize that the battle against the synthetic drug industry has been lost with the billion-dollar profits. “We will not reward criminals, but punish them”, said a CDA MP. The fact that it has now been shown that this approach does not work, but only leads to more drug-related crime and more drug use, apparently does not matter in political The Hague.

In 2017 I also argued for it legalize cannabis and xtc.

The starting point of the drug policy is to limit the risks to public health as much as possible and to prevent social and social damage. On that basis, it would be more sensible to regulate drugs and determine what is and what is not allowed for each substance, as with alcohol and tobacco.

The priority of Dutch drug policy must again be to protect people instead of fighting drugs. Responsible use of drugs should be the starting point, starting with two relatively less harmful drugs: cannabis and ecstasy.

People use cannabis or xtc for a variety of reasons. In the vast majority of cases, they are mature, responsible people who consciously choose to do so. The use has added value for most of them. They experience the effect as positive. Some people get into trouble due to (excessive) use of these drugs. There is sufficient guidance and assistance available for them, just like with alcohol.

Cannabis and xtc should be given legal status and their own set of rules. In this way, requirements can be set for the production process, origin, composition and quality, and people know what they smoke or swallow. This leads demonstrably to the least social and social damage and to a low risk to public health. Drug policy based on research and scientific insights. You just have to come up with it.

There will be an experiment for cannabis in which cultivation will be permitted under certain conditions. That is a first step in the right direction. But nothing further changes for the time being. Politics The Hague fights against all synthetic drugs, deaf to the warnings and blind to the facts, in a meaningless war with mere losers.


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