Stricter drug laws

(Published, then removed earlier version of this when i meant to save it as a draft. Apologies for the confusion.)

Yahoo! News – EU Agrees Drugs Law, Dutch ‘Coffee’ Shops Survive

This shows just how much policy is made in Brussels nowadays. This happens to be real bad policy, too (the small posession stuff.) But regardless of that, should this really be decided on the EU level?

Read somewhere else our minister of justice saying in essence the tide has turned, after 90s trend of softer drug laws. I’m sure it’s true w/ all the rightwing tough on crime rheotoric of late, in most of Europe.

So, a great victory for us. Yay.

I’m sure this will strike some of our reders as particulary bad news:

“Donner said his government was considering rules under which coffee shops would only be allowed to sell soft drugs to Dutch residents to meet its obligation to dissuade tourists from going to Amsterdam for drugs.”

Here’s some quite good news though:

“Drug use inside the EU has been stabilizing after years of rising sharply, according to surveys by the EU’s drugs monitoring agency in Lisbon.”

“After more than two years of negotiations and a long-running dispute between the Netherlands and Sweden and France, the EU ministers provisionally backed harmonizing national laws to make the bloc more efficient in the fight against illegal drugs.

The laws cover all types of drug-dealing, ranging from local networks to large-scale international operations.

However, Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said his country’s policy of allowing the use and sale of cannabis in the strictly controlled coffee shops would remain in place.

Under the agreed rules, offering, selling or producing drugs should be sanctioned with maximum jail terms of at least one to three years. In cases involving large-scale international drug trafficking sanctions should be at least five to 10 years.

The agreement was held up because Paris and Stockholm wanted tough jail terms for minor offences, a move opposed by Amsterdam because of its policy of tolerating the use and sale of so-called “soft drugs” such as cannabis.

Sweden also demanded the Netherlands close the coffee shops, where people for over 30 years have been able to buy and smoke cannabis without fearing repercussions from the police.

A compromise was reached after the Netherlands agreed to increase its sanctions for the possession of small quantities to a year from one month. Member states also agreed on a declaration stressing the importance of fighting drug tourism.”

4 thoughts on “Stricter drug laws

  1. Whatver happened to subsidiarity? EU member states should decide their own criminal laws. This sort of thing just gives the EU a bad name.

  2. Surely if the Netherlands only allowed Dutch citizens to use coffee shops, it’d be in breach of EU laws banning discrimination against foreigners from EU member states?

  3. I’m with John B on this one. National restrictions of that type seem unlikely to survive a court challenge. Really, it’s quite silly. I’m in favour of European coordination against large-scale traffic of hard drugs. However, more realistic policies towards soft drugs and towards consumers and small-time vendors are so obviously the better way to go that I’m baffled why any government wants to go a different way. Do people want their prisons filled with drug addicts who are otherwise at best minor criminals?

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