Dutch among lowest cannabis users in Europe-report

22 03 2010

cannabis - marijuana  usage reportThe annual report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction was published late last year, so while it´s not exactly ´hot off the presses´ news, the study´s findings and conclusions are well worth mentioning.

The Dutch are among the lowest users of marijuana or cannabis in Europe despite the Netherlands’ well-known tolerance of the drug, according to a regional study published.  Among adults in the Netherlands, 5.4 percent used cannabis, compared with the European average of 6.8 percent, according to an annual report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, using latest available figures.

A higher percentage of adults in Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and France took cannabis last year, the EU agency said, with the highest being Italy at 14.6 percent. Usage in Italy used to be among the lowest at below 10 percent a decade ago.

Countries with the lowest usage rates, according to the Lisbon-based agency, were Romania, Malta, Greece and Bulgaria.

Cannabis use in Europe rose steadily during the 90s and earlier this decade, but has recently stabilised and is beginning to show signs of decline, the agency said, owing to several national campaigns to curb and treat use of the drug.

“Data from general population and school surveys point to a stabilising or even decreasing situation,” the report said.

Source: Reuters.com

Read the full report.





So how harmless is Skunk?

18 09 2009

skunkWith this post we want to clarify some of the misconceptions that a lot of people seem to have on skunk.

Firstly, let us point out that Skunk is nothing more then a name for (mostly indica) potent weed. It is NOT some genetically engineered super dangerous new type of weed. (special announcement for the media; did you guys notice the word NOT? )

For your information, the Dutch ska band “Doe maar” made an album called skunk back in 1981! So the term has been around for a while. However, even if it was a new kind of weed.. Will this new super potent weed be somehow more dangerous than the weed smoked 20 years ago? So what if weed is more potent? This only means that you have to smoke less of it.. Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing? And what about hash? Shouldn’t this be even more dangerous? Even in the seventies people smoked hash which is a lot more potent than any skunk you can buy nowadays.

The third argument that the anti-legalization lobby likes to use is that skunk/cannabis use somehow causes schizophrenia? Let’s pretend for a moment that this is proven to be true ( scientists still seem to disagree ) isn’t that all the more reason to have a legal and regulated market for it? What is the worst that can happen? In the Netherlands adults are allowed to buy small amounts of weed and this has worked just fine for the last 20-odd years.

Just to compare the two systems.. 9.7 percent of youngsters (15-24) use cannabis at least once a month in the Netherlands, compared to 15.8 percent in the UK. ( source )





Dutch coffeeshop closed to tourists?

11 09 2009

The Netherlands used to be one of the most progressive countries in the world when it came to softdrugs.

The Dutch policy of regulating rather then prohibiting has obviously worked, as the percentage of regular (soft)drugs user is lower then in almost all european countries and even the United States. The only problem is that cannabis was never actually legalized – in contrary to what many people believe – cannabis is still an illegal substance according to Dutch law. This has led to the unworkable situation where people can buy small amounts at the coffeeshop but the coffeeshops can’t buy their weed legally.

This “decriminalization” policy is a weird situation, but it has worked for years. However, in the past couple of years the political climate seems to be changing. Some elements in the Dutch government are doing everything in their power to stop people from having a bit of fun. In this context it means closing many coffeeshops, having coffeeshops owners choose between their liquor licence and their “coffeeshop” licence and now even closing most coffeeshops for tourist.

The proposal that will be discussed in parliament today is that of a members-only policy for all coffeeshops and tourists are only allowed in the larger coffeeshops. It is not exactly clear yet what this means for Amsterdam and other major cities, but it is another giant leap in the wrong direction. The Dutch government will put forward a new bill somewhere in the coming months which will (hopefully) give more clarity on how the future is going to look.

All we know is that if this proposal is actually going to come into effect it will cause more problems then it will solve.

Source: nrc.nl





Costa vs Polak

25 06 2008

This particular video features ENCOD´s Frederick Polak, trying in vain to get a very relevant question answered by UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa.

Apparently Costa is only open to a debate if you don’t ask him any difficult questions..








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