Changing the Dutch drug law

With most things in life, I am pretty much a die-hard liberal. I believe that, providing you are not interfering with anyone else’s life, you should be able to do pretty much as you please. I’m thinking, in particular, of drug use.

There are a few caveats to this sweeping statement. You should be of sound mind and of a responsible age, for example. Furthermore, the condition of not doing harm to anyone else also extends to the financial implications for society. For example, if you smoke all your life, there is a better than average chance you are going to end up with cancer and need more expensive care than someone who hasn’t indulged in this disagreeable habbit. But, with a little bit of mathematical wizardry, it is fairly easy to ring-fence society from the costs of other peoples’ lifestyle choices – simply raise the level of tax on cigarettes so that you are sure that future medical expenses will be covered by this revenue (which, in England, they probably are already).

There should also be an abundance of information about the expected consequences of your chosen action. “SMOKING KILLS” labels are a good example.

Anyway, by and large, live and let live is a pretty good motto to follow.

This is why the decision of the Dutch parliament to ban foreigners from purchasing cannibis in coffeeshops wrankles so much. It will not stop people taking drugs in the Netherlands. It will simply push things underground and provide Dutch drug dealers with a new source of income.

It is dangerous, short-sighted and stupid in the extreme. The result, unfortunately, of populist politics rather than pragmatism.

This ban will be phased in from January 1 and, from the beginning of 2013, it will not be possible for non-residents to buy soft drugs in the Netherlands.

(This may also be contrary to European free-trade laws – I would expect a European court case to follow pretty soon.)

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2 Responses to “Changing the Dutch drug law”

  1. GraciesThoughts Says:

    Hey, I recently started a blog on wordpress and was just looking around to see what other people post about. I enjoyed reading your post today about the drugs in the Netherlands. Thanks for your opinion, I will probably follow your blog from now on.
    Thanks, I love verier opinions!
    GLF

  2. Jim Says:

    Yeah it doesn’t make sense to have one law for the Dutch and another for tourists or visitors. What about long-term non-dutch residents?
    It will be an absurd law which will completely undermine any benefits of the liberal drugs law and force it undergound and towards criminality.

    As they say on the Simpsons Doh!

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