The emergence of HIV/AIDS and its prevalence among injecting drug users further tightened the international resolve to classify most of the drugs outlined above as hard drugs and illegal. Consequently, there came the formulation of national policies and strategies, international agreements and cooperative strategies between states to tackle trafficking and combat drug use across borders. To date, the issue of drugs has become more complex with the emergence of production and trafficking cartels that have global representation and sophisticated smuggling tactics that are capable of evading customs authorities in many parts of the world. Efforts of several governments have borne fruit in controlling the menace while others are still staggering around the issue with no tangible progress (Thomas 142). Netherlands National Drug Strategy With legislation dating back to the early 20th century’s enactment of the opium actin 1928, followed by its fundamental amendment of 1976, the national drug strategy of Netherlands came to effect in 1995 to provide a framework for dealing with illicit drug-related problems. The strategy has four major objectives, which include prevention of drug usage, rehabilitation and treatment of addicts, harm reduction among users, public nuisance eradication and diminishing production and trafficking. All these objectives aim at achieving the broader goal of promoting general health in the country. The strategy is restricted to illegal drugs with reinforcement from sector-specific strategies such as destruction of drug plantations, interception, and stoppage of trafficking through the airlines and shipping agencies as well as health promotion campaigns. The strategy is seen by many policy analysts as too liberal and giving a lot of room for drug use. This is because drug use constitutes a crime if it involves other unlawful practices like stealing and burglary, illegal trade, and trafficking. The use of drugs is also permissible outside public places like hospitals, schools, public means of transport and public parks. The strategy also exempts conviction for being in possession of small quantities of both soft and hard drugs that do not surpass the respective thresholds, in which confiscation is the only penalty.
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