When it comes to drug laws and policies for the sale and uses of illicit drugs each country around the world is different. What is okay and acceptable in one part of the world could be punishable by death in another. Here is a brief overview of the drug laws and policies around the world.
The drug laws and policies of Australia
Regardless of the growing counterculture that supports the legalization of marijuana and other drugs going on in Australia, the laws concerning drug abuse and drug sales are very similar to those in the United States. There is a very strong push placed on drug education in the schools starting as early as what we consider middle school in America. Australia though has been a more outspoken proponent of harm reduction measures such as needle exchange programs.
The drug laws and policies in the Netherlands
One of the biggest differences between the drug laws and policies in the Netherlands and the United States is that the government approaches the drug problem as a health issue not a criminal issue. The Netherlands invest a lot of money into the treatment of drug addiction and education on drug abuse prevention rather than it does the imprisonment of potential users. The next biggest difference is that the Netherlands is the only country that has completely decriminalized the use and sale of marijuana.
The drug laws and policies in the United States
The drug laws and policies in the United States are very strict and harsh. The penalties for drug possession or sale are especially strict. This is proven by the fact that a large percentage of the prison population in the United States is comprised of people with a drug problem. The United States began the “war on drugs” in the 1970s and since that time the United States has spent billions of dollars taking drug users to court and pursuing drug traffickers at all the borders and within the states themselves.
The drug laws and policies in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom maintains its own drug laws and policies. The United Kingdom has their Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971 which breaks down all drug-related offenses into three categories. The three categories are Class A, Class B, and Class C. A is the most dangerous and C being the least dangerous drugs. Certain drug possession laws are more lenient in the United Kingdom than in the United States but possession with the intent to sell still carries the potential for life in prison.
The drug laws and policies in Switzerland
The drug laws and policies in Switzerland are some of the most lenient policies in the world when it comes to drug-related offenses. The emphasis for the Swiss government is on prevention therapy, harm reduction and prohibition. The Swiss government puts special emphasis on helping drug addicts receive effective drug treatment and does everything it can in its power to ensure the safety of active drug users. Switzerland was actually the focus around the world due to its government sponsored “safe rooms” where heroin addicts could go to shoot up with a clean needle in a safe environment.
The drug laws and policies in Germany
German drug laws and policies are some of the strictest in Europe. Serious penalties are given for the sale or possession of large quantities of drugs but there is no criminal action taken for small-scale possession or use of narcotics including marijuana. The German government even allows supervised “drug rooms” like those found in the Netherlands where individuals can safely use their drug of choice and get counseling if needed or wanted.