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NCJ Number: 155849 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Reform: The Dutch Experience
Journal: Hospital Practice  Dated:(May 30, 1991)  Pages:93-96,99-100
Author(s): R H Schwartz
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of efforts in the Netherlands to reform drug policies concludes that these efforts have had limited success at best and that they are of questionable relevance to countries such as the United States that have more heterogeneous populations.
Abstract: The Dutch have approached drug abuse as a problem of public health, not one of law enforcement or criminal justice. The Dutch policy is coordinated by the State Ministry of Health and includes legal indulgence of personal use or sale of marijuana or hashish, the de facto decriminalization of personal use of drugs such as heroin and cocaine, the widespread distribution of methadone to registered addicts, and programs to exchange syringes and needles as part of an AIDS prevention effort that also provides for condom distribution and other measures. This experiment has had little success among disadvantaged and immigrant groups, however. The program may be effective in a small, rather homogeneous, highly industrialized country, but even the most avid proponents of the Dutch system point out that it may not work well in countries with more heterogeneous populations. 10 references
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Legislative impact; Netherlands; United States of America; US/foreign comparisons
Note: DCC
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