Comparing the Drug Policies of Saudi Arabia and The Netherlands.

Essay by khowardCollege, Undergraduate April 2008

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All countries have some form of drug policies, however no two countries have the exact same drug laws and some countries are worlds apart in how they prosecute drug offenders. This paper will highlight the differences and similarities in the drug policies of Saudi Arabia and The Netherlands. At a glance it seems these two countries share no similarities, the Saudis regularly execute people drug offenses, where as in the Netherlands drugs offenses are rare not because drugs aren’t being used but simply because the government there don’t view it as a crime worthy of punishment. While this may seems like polar opposites there are a number of similarities for instance not all drugs are allowed in the Netherlands, and the Saudis have in some circumstances granted “special sentencing” for drug offenders that greatly reduces the time spent in jail for a drug crime. When examining laws from any countries it is vital that not only the laws be explained but also the reason why the laws came to exist in the first place.

In short this paper will examine what the laws in these individual countries are, what the punishment for breaking these laws are, and why these are laws are in place in each respective country.

There is a common misconception about drugs in the Netherlands; most people believe that drugs have been legalized in the Netherlands; this is not true they have merely been decriminalized. What this means is that while there are laws on the books that say drugs are illegal and can be punished: the punishments are rarely handed out and in most cases are relatively small, such as a moderate fine. It is comparable to jaywalking in the U.S., it is technically illegal but very few cases are prosecuted. It is also important...