Drug Czar Should Visit Amsterdam. NYT Article.

  1. Universal Expat
    Raw Story
    Published: August 26, 2006 Author: John Tierney, NYT
    For Education and Discussion Only. Not for Commercial Use.

    "America's drug warriors" need to take a trip to Amsterdam to see that there is no "reefer madness," argues New York Times columnist John Tierney in his Saturday column, RAW STORY has found.

    "Arjan Roskam, the creator of the award-winning marijuana blend named 'Arjan's Haze,' has dozens of pictures of celebrity visitors on the wall of his coffee shop in Amsterdam," writes Tierney. "He's got Eminem, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Mike Tyson -- but so far, unfortunately, not a single White House drug czar."

    "But if America's drug warriors came here, they would learn something even if they didn't sample any of the dozens of varieties of marijuana sold legally in specially licensed coffee shops," Tierney writes. "They could see that the patrons puffing on joints generally don't look any more zombielike than the crowd at an American bar -- or, for that matter, a congressional subcommittee listening to a lecture on evils of marijuana."

    "Even though marijuana has been widely available since the 1970s, enough to corrupt a couple of generations, the Netherlands has not succumbed to reefer madness," Tierney writes.

    Excerpts from the Tierney's column:

    The Dutch generally use drugs less than Americans do, according to national surveys in both countries (and these surveys might understate Americans' drug usage, since respondents are less likely to admit illegal behavior). More Americans than Dutch reported having tried marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Among teenagers who'd tried marijuana, Americans were more likely to be regular users.

    In a comparison of Amsterdam with another liberal port city, San Francisco, Cohen and other researchers found that people in San Francisco were nearly twice as likely to have tried marijuana. Cohen isn't sure exactly what cultural and economic factors account for the different usage patterns in America and the Netherlands, but he's confident he can rule out one explanation.

    "Drug policy is irrelevant," says Cohen, the former director of the Center for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam. It's quite logical, he says, to theorize that outlawing drugs would have an impact, but experience shows otherwise, both in America and in European countries with stricter laws than the Netherlands but no less drug use.


    This is amazing information. If only the policymakers in the US would take a realistic view of things.

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  1. Nagognog2
    I thought that S.O.B. did visit Holland recently - and caused some sort of ruckus in his wake?
  2. old hippie 56
    They don't want to know what works, just another hole to throw money at. While claiming victories by arresting thousands of people, spending millions to extradite sick people from Canada. And the list could go on and on!!!
  3. Beeker

  4. johannabartley
    Marijuana isn't the big problem, the drugs marijuana leads to are the big problem. I would vote the legalization of marijuana as long as people realize they don't have to smoke it daily. I was once in a drug rehabilitation center and it was the most horrid time of my life.
  5. Metomni
    What's wrong with smoking it daily? My penguin sees nothing wrong with daily use of herb, simply because daily use occurs does not mean it is uncontrollable or irresponsible.
  6. .rar
    The gateway drug theory is crap, most studies discredit the theory. Also, people should have the right to put any chemical they choose into their own body, as long as the personal rights of others is not infringed upon.
  7. johannabartley
    I guess you're right about that, rar, but there are many that don't know or don't understand what a drug can do to them. Take meth for example, it's enough to use it only once and if you still have the possibility to get it, you'll do it again and again. Not many of the users knew how much meth will destroy their health, bodies and minds. If they knew, they wouldn't have touched the drug.
  8. RunRedFox
    If drugs arent bad... They are out of a job...
  9. Powder_Reality
    Just wondering, why did this thread get revived just to debate about the gateway theory and the side-effects of methamphetamine use?
  10. radiometer
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