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October 2021

Dutch drug policy in a European context

Journal/Book: J Drug Issues. 1999; 29: Florida State Univ School Criminology Criminal Justice, PO Box 66696, Tallahassee, FL 32313-6696, USA. J Drug Issues Inc. 511-528.

Abstract: The increased cooperation between European Union member states in many policy areas has made it increasingly difficult for individual countries to pursue national policies on issues like drugs. The drug policies of the Netherlands, which center squarely on harm reduction, were under severe attack in recent years. Yet a good look at the actual practices in many other countries leaves no doubt that the predominant tendency is towards a harm reduction approach. Debates are also underway in many countries on drug policy reform, and everything from the decriminalization or legalization of cannabis to the legal prescription of heroin have been advocated. Although it is not yet clear just what future policies will look like, the current wave of pragmatism in many European countries has made the liberal Dutch approach less of an isolated case than it was a decade or more ago.

Note: Article Van Solinge TB, Univ Utrecht, Willem Pompe Inst, St Janskerkhof 16, NL-3512 Utrecht, NETHERLANDS

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