Comment 31737

By JonC (registered) | Posted June 12, 2009 at 16:23:22

What is with people and terrible comparisons? Just because two things are legislated does not make them analogous.

I don't think the argument is that the money can be shifted around from enforcement to rehab either. The argument is that we currently pay for enforcement & rehab, because enforcement doesn't work. Leaving things alone isn't a great policy if the status quo is damaging lives over, what I believe to be, trivial infractions.

As for Holland, the UN would beg to differ with your opinion as 17% of Canadians smoke marijuana compared to 5.4% of the Dutch.

Where you have a point is treatment rates which the UN report details at: 24.7 of 25,908 people being treated for drug abuse in Canada, 19.4% of 29,908 people being treated for drug abuse in the Netherlands

So about an equal number of people, with Canada having about double the population, so the rate of people seeking treatment for marijuana abuse in the Netherlands is double that in Canada. However, I would argue that a large piece of that is that the stigma of usage has been reduced in the Netherlands, so people that need treatment are receiving it. I think we can agree that the rate of abuse treatment is definitely not related to usage rates.

Also, take this site for what it's worth, but they do cite their references (although they are a little dated, so if you have some more recent studies, I would be interested to see them)

"Myth: Marijuana Policy in the Netherlands is a Failure. Dutch law, which allows marijuana to be bought, sold, and used openly, has resulted in increasing rates of marijuana use, particularly in youth.

Fact: The Netherlands' drug policy is the most nonpunitive in Europe. For more than twenty years, Dutch citizens over age eighteen have been permitted to buy and use cannabis (marijuana and hashish) in government-regulated coffee shops. This policy has not resulted in dramatically escalating cannabis use. For most age groups, rates of marijuana use in the Netherlands are similar to those in the United States. However, for young adolescents, rates of marijuana use are lower in the Netherlands than in the United States. "

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