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The Netherlands are pretty famous for their drug policy, especially on softdrugs. But, is it as good as you think? Here are some facts:
Softdrugs are not legal in the netherlands. all drugs are forbidden to have, both softdrugs and harddrugs. It is tolerated to keep about 30 grams of softdrugs with you, for your own use. At the same time, you are allowed to buy a maximum of 5 grams of softdrugs in a coffeeshop per day. So you have to visit more coffeeshops if you want to have 30 grams.
so, coffeeshops can legally sell you 5 grams of softdrugs. but at the same time, they are not allowed to buy or grow marihuana. so, the grow of marihuana is still illegal. this makes the frontdoor of the coffeeshop legal, and the backdoor illegal at the same time
it is also a bit weird that local municipalities can make their own rules in drugpolicy. so they can decide themselves if and how many coffeeshops they allow. about 73% of the municipalities have no coffeeshops at all.
the use of drugs, both harddrugs and softdrugs, is legal in the Netherlands. so, it is not legal to have drugs with you, but using them is legal.

but, does our drug policy work? I think so! The main aim is to reduce both the demand for and supply of drugs and to minimise harm to users, their relatives and friends and society. By tolerating coffeeshops to sell softdrugs, we try to keep users of softdrugs away from the harddrugs scene. This seems to work because the Netherlands have a relative low number of problematic harddrugusers. In 1981, the average age of harddrugusers was 26.8 years old, now it is 39, the total number of drugusers under 22 dropped in this period from 14.4% to 1.6%. The number of people using softdrugs is comparable to other countries in EU.
any questions? ask me! Essely


Edited byessely on 13.01.2007

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