A in-depth look at how European countries deal with drug problems.
A detailed look into the world of drug use and how governments in different countries deal with drug problems. The author looks at the approaches of countries such as Denmark, England, and Holland.
“There are approximately five million “hard drug” users in 12 European countries, and another four million casual users. There are far more “soft drug” users than “hard drug” users. Soft drugs include marijuana and hashish, while hard drugs include heroin and cocaine. Cannabis, a “soft drug” is the most widely used illicit drug in the Europe. “Hard drugs” are used by a smaller amount of people. In Europe, there have been several strategies developed for dealing with drugs. Some countries, like Sweden, Belgium, France, and Germany, follow a “zero tolerance” policy. In these countries, drug possession is a criminal offense. Other countries, like Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland, have legalized drugs for personal use, and concentrate their police efforts on drug-dealing cartels. For years, foreign experts and governments have criticized lenient policies, such as the Dutch policy of tolerance and health rather than criminalization and legislation. Recently, as people began to realize that prohibition does not work, they have been drawn to these countries for guidance. By offering a more humane alternative to incarceration for drug users, many European countries have been able to keep drugs from having a major effect on other aspects of life in their countries.”