A SYMPOSIUM ON DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION: THE UNEASY DECRIMINALIZATION: A PERSPECTIVE ON DUTCH DRUG POLICY Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1990 Hofstra Law Review
Hofstra Law Review

A SYMPOSIUM ON DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION: THE UNEASY DECRIMINALIZATION: A PERSPECTIVE ON DUTCH DRUG POLICY

SPRING, 1990

18 Hofstra L. Rev. 717

Author

Henk Jan van Vliet *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

One of the interesting questions with regard to the debate and position of the Netherlands on illegal drugs (and on other issues with a moral dimension such as abortion and euthanasia) is how the Dutch have become so pragmatic in this traditionally moralistic and Christian country, and the extent to which some foreign individuals, media and governments misconceive and denounce this drug policy as being too liberal/soft/permissive, 1 and sometimes as even worse. 2

Moreover, the international criticism is remarkable in light of Dutch law-enforcement efforts and results when considered in light of the success of demand reduction and public health aspects of drug policy in the Netherlands. This success has been achieved largely against the mainstream of international drug politics and despite the interference of the country's most important neighbors and allies. Today it is the international situation that profoundly influences the development of Dutch drug policy: the economical and political integration of Western Europe. 3

Section II of this Article deals with the background and main features of Dutch drug policy until 1985. 4 Section III is a description, focusing on the situation in Amsterdam, of the decriminalization of the use and retail-trade of hashish and marijuana. 5 Section IV describes developments since 1985 and discusses the future of Dutch drug policy. 6 The final Section concludes with some suggestions for policy development in the Western European context. 7

II. THE BACKGROUND AND DEVELOPMENT OF DUTCH DRUG POLICY: 1945-1985

A. Towards the Break ...
 
 
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