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The current drug policy in the Netherlands derives from the International Opium Treaty in 1912, the first international treaty regarding the control of drug trade. At the time, the fundamental incentive was to control the trade of substances, in the light of effectively harboring economic interests. Currently, the emphasis of drug policy has switched to prevention and harm reduction. The production, import, export, trade and possession of hard drugs are illegal and breaking the law will lead to sanctions. The use of hard drugs is not illegal, in order to offer people who are under influence the opportunity to safely enter a hospital at any time. But what are the consequences of this policy? A brief impression of the situation:
A large part of the trade and distribution of drugs is controlled by the criminal world. The police and the judiciary have their hands full, which causes a financial burden on our society. The so-called War on Drugs has also led to many victims: thousands of deaths, and even more incarcerations. A side effect is that uncontrolled production is harmful for the environment, chemical waste is being dumped because naturally there is no place to safely deposit production waste. The foremost consequence is that a lot of this waste ends up in nature. On top of this, it appears that the most vital goal of the War on Drugs – namely to reduce accessibility and consumption- is not being reached; the drug prices have barely gone up during the ‘war’, and it has never been easier to get access to drugs.
In short: people use drugs, and they will always do so, whether it’s illegal or not. The current policy is not based on realism and/or proper research. Therefore, we argue that the consumer should be able to decide for themselves whether they can carry the risk of consumption use. However, we also feel that this should happen with access to guidance and decent education. The policy should hereby be free from judgement, and should instead be based on scientific research, organization and experts. Most of all, the consumer should be involved within this dialogue. After all, only they can offer more clarity on the motivation behind substance use, together with their subsequential wishes and desires. High Humans strives to speak for these people, because only if we raise our voice together, it allows for a better and more honest discussion. Only if we speak, will it lead to a new dialogue.