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Comparing Dutch Drug Illegalization and Policy with the U.S - Research Paper Example

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Comparing Dutch Drug Illegalization and Policy with the U.S

Drug Policy of Netherlands – Historical view In the 19th century, Netherlands was not free from drug addicts. Unlike the United States and other nations of Western Europe, there were no addicted soldiers in Netherlands and also there was no spread of addiction among the public which was the reason why there was no medical research regarding addiction. Dutch policy on drugs took action based on two factors, which were development in the field of medicine and huge profits earned by the Dutch colonial drug operators. In the Dutch colonies, the use of opium and cocaine contributed largely as state revenue. Netherlands became the largest producer of cocaine in the world by the early 20th century and the government could earn huge profits from opium leases. In 1909, the United States held a conference in Shanghai with a goal to restrict the sale and use of opium, but Netherlands resisted it. Only in 1919, when Opium Act was enacted, government of Netherlands restricted the drugs to be sold and used only as medicine. Before the Second World War, it was thought that the drug policies in Netherlands were not genuine because the government had huge economic gains as sale of drugs proved to a very lucrative business. After Second World War, marijuana could be easily detected and in 1953, changes were made in Opium Act by way of adding cannabis as illegal substance. Legal steps began to be taken against those who used marijuana but excessive measures taken against the student riots in 1966 made enforcement of law very sensitive in the eyes of the public. This resulted in lighter dealings with social issues like usage of drugs. In the early 1970s, sale of heroin became very competitive and then the government of Netherlands established Baan Commission, which decided the course of drug policy of the country. The main idea of Baan Commission was to minimize any risks arising out of drug use instead of completely banning the use of drugs (Dolin, 2001). Drug Policy of the United States – Historical view From 1861 to the late 19th century, use of various drugs like morphine, cocaine, opium was not considered illegal. Opium and cocaine were even used in medicines. In 1898, heroin was first isolated and it coincided with the ongoing appeals of the races against drugs in America. Initially, only cocaine and opium were targeted. Cocaine was more common among the blacks and opium among the Chinese. Alcohol temperance groups and religious groups also joined hands in protesting against the use of drugs. In 1906, the US Congress in spite of strong protests from the medicine industry passed Pure Food and Drug Act. Under this Act it was necessary to list the drugs used in medicines. Opium Smoking Act was passed in 1909, which prohibited drug importation for any other purpose other than medicinal purposes. The Harrison Narcotic Act was passed in 1914 to control the use of cocaine and heroin in medicines by limiting their distribution to physicians. Although the court challenged this Act, the US Supreme Court defended it as revenue act. This Act allowed the doctors to use narcotics only as course of their professional practice (Dolin, 2001). In the second half of the 19th century, the Dutch physicians began to feel the sale of opiates and cocaine were flooding the market and as such their profession was affected. As medicine became a profession, the physicians and pharmacists tried to hold monopoly in the area of drug supply. In US drugs ...Show more
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Summary

Comparing Dutch drug illegalization and policy with the U.S and Cultural view of Drug Use Introduction Drug addiction is a curse on society. While there are various policies and programs to discourage the use of drugs, the youth remains vulnerable as they find it as an easy way out from the tension of their social and cultural life…
Comparing Dutch Drug Illegalization and Policy with the U.S
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