The Successful Application of the Pragmatic Policy in the Netherlands
Essay by Dan Grigorin
The legal system of the Netherlands is world renowned for its unique policies. The epitome of the legal system in the Netherlands is the Opium Act, the first one of which, created in 1919, resulted from the participation of the Netherlands in the Opium Convention in 1912Ã¯Â¿Â½. Although somewhat revised in 1928, not much had been amended from the very first Opium Act.Ã¯Â¿Â½ In 1976, the act was amended to be the version that is currently enforced.Ã¯Â¿Â½ It distinguished between hard and soft drugs, giving a risk scale, which consisted of categories regarding medical, pharmacological, psychological, and sociological data. Using this, the Opium Act distinguished drugs with unacceptable risks.Ã¯Â¿Â½
The Opium Act had many provisions in relation to drug trafficking. It clearly outlined all illegal activities in relation to trafficking, such as money laundering and confiscation of illegal assets.Ã¯Â¿Â½
The Abuse of Chemical Substances Act of March 1995 allowed monitoring of any drug trade and confiscation of any illegal substances.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Many other laws have been created and implemented since then in relation to health and welfare of drug users and possession of drugs.Ã¯Â¿Â½
The guidelines issued by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in 1996 state that arresting and criminalising users possessing small quantities of any drug for personal use is not looked upon as a priority according to the Dutch drug policy.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Many other laws in relation to drug use have been enacted since then, such as the Collective Prevention and Public Health Act; Primary Education Act, Basic Education Act for Secondary Education, the Care Institutions Quality Act, and the Act on the Distribution of Medicines.Ã¯Â¿Â½ In 2001, a new law, Penal Care Facility for Addicts Law, enabled the courts to put any intravenous...