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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Default Drugs & Politics

    After all the comotion in the "Drug experiences?" thread I decided that it is time for a thread to discuss the more political side of drugs. No personal stories about divine enlightenment or hitting rock bottom. Just a good ol' yelling at each other about the silliest people in the world... Politicians.

    Let me start of by painting you all a picture of the cannabis tolerance policy of the Netherlands.

    As you probably know buying of small quantities of marijuana in the so called coffeeshops is legal in the Netherlands. However these coffeeshops are restricted in that they cannot have more then a specific amount in the store at all times, and also the suplychain of these coffeeshops is completely illegal and coffeeshop owners can be arrested for illegal purchase. Also, since about half of the administration of every coffeeshop is illegal and taxes, if paid at all, can easily be frauded with. Also they are great places for criminals to wash their money clean.

    Most people (including politicians) see this as an inefficient policy. The only problem is that we can't seem to agree on whether to illegalize drugs completely or to legalize it, possibly with regulations.

    Recently policy makers have decided that in the future coffeeshops will have to implement a system where only local citizens can get a membership card, this in order to prevent tourists from getting high in our beloved capital Amsterdam. The idiocy in this idea seems blatantly obvious to me, but let me point it out. If this system is implemented the first thing I will do is go live and study in Amsterdam. Get me one of these membership cards. Buy as much pot as I can while remaining within the law. Walk outside the coffeeshop and sell the damn stuff at twice the price I bought it for. And I will ask all the people I know to do exactly the same.

    It's a simple question of demand and offer. The offer is there, for us dutch people at least, and the demand, especially if we continue the availability illegally, will be there as well. The government on the other hand doesn't get a penny extra cause it'll all be done in cash without taxes paid over it. But I on the other hand will make a shitload of money out of it. Also it seems weird to me that in the entire supply chain drugs take the only legal step is the one between the coffeeshop and myself. The wholesale-step is illegal, as is the step between me and the final consumer.

    You think I'm talking rubbish and that illegalizing cannabis will result in less offer, and therefore decrease the amount of drug used?

    Take a look at these pages:

    Annual cannabis use per country - the Netherlands are down at about 40th position. Way below heavy anti-drugs countries like the U.S.A. and France.

    Legality of cannabis by country - As you can see the Netherlands isn't the only country that hasn't got strict illagilzing laws for cannabis.

    Not convinced and thinking that drugs are evil and should be rooted out. Well okay, that is your opinion. But I can tell you that stricter laws is not the way to do it. If you don't believe me, investigate into the recent law changes in Mexico and Argentina, where politicians have said, I'm paraphrasing here, "that going after the individual drug users of causes more arrests and lawsuits, but has no effect what so ever on national cannabis use."

    I conclude by saying that our national democratic representatives are a bunch of idiots.

  2. #2
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    That's silly. Do they not think about tourism being hindered by not letting tourists buy stuff. I know the Rijksmuseum is really great but...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    That's silly. Do they not think about tourism being hindered by not letting tourists buy stuff. I know the Rijksmuseum is really great but...
    Well, I don't think the government isn't going to loose a whole lot of money due to this decision, cannabis wasn't taxed in the first place, and like I said, I think it will hardly affect drugs tourism in general, it'll just get the official numbers down and it makes a goodwill effort towards other European nations. I doubt they did this consciously, but they're still doing it.

  4. #4
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    What I meant by the tourism being hindered is that lot's of people go to Amsterdam for the experience, (and while there they stay in hotels, eat (lots) in restaurants, etc.) if that experience were taken away I thought maybe tourism would be hindered.

    How hard do you think it would be to make everything illegal after being legal?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    What I meant by the tourism being hindered is that lot's of people go to Amsterdam for the experience, (and while there they stay in hotels, eat (lots) in restaurants, etc.) if that experience were taken away I thought maybe tourism would be hindered.

    How hard do you think it would be to make everything illegal after being legal?
    Yeah, that's true, but like I said, I don't think that a prohibition will lead to less drug use or even drug tourism. It will just be a tool to bring official statistics down. Making drugs illegal is not very hard. It's a piece of paper that has to be signed. Enforcing the law to be effective, that's the difficulty.

  6. #6
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Portuglal basically decriminalized drugs in 2001 and they're doing fine. Drug use rates have remained stable, and rates of drug-related hospitalizations and AIDS/Hepatitis infections have fallen slightly.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    (☞゚∀゚)☞ The Decline's Avatar
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    Mexico and Russia did this as well. It usually comes from an administrative cost-cutting angle, where the justice system realizes that plenty of money can be saved by not prosecuting non-violent drug offenders carrying personal use amounts. In the US, the case is different. I'm one to believe that the justice system here wants as many offenders as possible, because the prison system is privatized, and enjoys the benefits of cheap prison labor. Not to mention the myriad of other reasons for maintaining drug prohibition..
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    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Decline View Post
    Mexico and Russia did this as well. It usually comes from an administrative cost-cutting angle, where the justice system realizes that plenty of money can be saved by not prosecuting non-violent drug offenders carrying personal use amounts. In the US, the case is different. I'm one to believe that the justice system here wants as many offenders as possible, because the prison system is privatized, and enjoys the benefits of cheap prison labor. Not to mention the myriad of other reasons for maintaining drug prohibition..

    I disagree. Many prison systems are not privatized, and inmates were making license plates and doing other manual labor for states before any of them started to privatize. Also, the Drug War predates the privatization trend. If anything, the Drug War has led to more privatized prison administrations, since prisons have been chock full of nonviolent drug offenders the last 30 years or so and DOC's have become holes in which to throw down money.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #9
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Well in fairness you voted your representatives in.

    I have mixed views, I woulnd't go to Amsterdam because of the drug culture (and to an extent the sex culture too), ero I have never been to the Neatherlands. On one hand you get tourisim through the hash cafes (stage parties etc), but is it the right tourisim? What are the downside of tourist being stoned? I'm kinda guessing there isn't much crime from these tourist on the whole.

    If the politicians make it illegal or restrict it to residents, then you loose the drugs tourists and possibly get non drug related tourists - but that needs to be built up not an over night thing. So I think it seems a strange change in policy, which I guess is more long term impact thand intital win so to speak.

    What are the drug related issues within the country?

    In Scotland they legalised alcohol in a fair liberal way, which seemed to have little detrimental effect, when they liberalised the laws in England and Wales it has caused a huge increase in binge drinking and disruptive behaviours. Its unclear why there has been such a different reaction between Scotland and England.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    As I pointed out before, illegalizing drugs will probably not decrease drugs tourism, just drop the numbers. If cannabis would still be legal to buy for local citizens, can you imagine how easy it would be for tourists to still get the stuff outside of the coffeeshops?

    The main drug related issue in the Netherlands is this tolerance policy, where there is no quality control, it cannot be taxed and it's very easy to fraud with numbers and taxes.

    And on another note. The party I voted for, and am even a member off is a mediocre sized party in the opposition. Luckily however, a lot of Dutch citizens seem to agree that our government is shit, and apart from the biggest party, all the other parties have plummeted in popularity and the party I'm voting for (liberal democratic party called D66) is virtually the third biggest party.

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