Mar 10, 2009, 8:19 PM
Post #24 of 36
In 1976, the Netherlands decriminalised possession of soft drugs such as cannabis. To cater for demand, outlets quickly cropped up in around the country, specifically in the capital, Amsterdam. These establishments are known as 'coffee shops', but most patrons don't hang out there for a caffeine fix. It's dope that floats their boat. Additionally, the sex trade was totally open.
Re: [Don] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs
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Well, Amsterdam, the city of tolerance is tightening the Rules on its red light district (human trafficking) and marijuana coffee-shops.
THe cost to address the health of drug addicts, spending on drug control is by far the highest in Europe (almost 0.7% of GDP). Drug tourism from all around Europe has skyrocketed. Oddly, there is an EU smoking ban in public places, the Dutch citizens will face the bizarre situation of being allowed to smoke a cannabis joint, but not allowed to smoke a cigarette in a coffee shop.
What are the results?
A fundamental principle in economic science is that supply and price of a product affect its demand. With cannabis legally and plentifully available, its use is much higher in Amsterdam (almost 3 times more) than in the rest of the country (note: 80% of Dutch municipalities do not allow the sale of marijuana).
Furthermore, in Amsterdam marijuana consumption is well above EU averages - and these figures do not count the tourists.
Tightening the rules - most importantly, Amsterdam is taking measures to reduce the number of coffee shops and sex clubs, to reflect policy and attitude changes about both. Country-wide, the number of coffee shops has dropped by a third in the past decade: the number of people seeking treatment for cannabis-related health problems has doubled in the same period (overweight from eating too much, hehehe).
All over the world, the drug and sex trade go together, often accompanied by violence and crime, spread of infectious diseases, and human sex trafficking, creating some unimaginable horror stories.
The care centers for addicts have increased, as has criminal behaviour related to the use of approved and non approved drugs resulting in overcrowding of jails, mental health problems, and physical health problems.
The population of Amsterdam is about 740,000. The cost related to the drug tolerance in Amsterdam is, as a percentage of the GDP, excessively high. I can't imaging that the social engineers in America have given this much thought.
So, that is the rest of the story about legalizing/decriminalizing drug use in the U.S.
(This post was edited by delmaracr on Mar 10, 2009, 8:35 PM)