Once upon a time drugs were something of a taboo subject. More recently, things have changed. We seem to be moving further away from the strict approaches that we once all knew, and to a more progressive culture.
Countries from all around the world deal with drugs in different ways. Today’s post takes a glimpse at five nations, and some resources which help to explain how they deal with the topic.
The sheer size of the United States means that drugs policies are always a difficult issue. In short, its policies are quite “standard” when compared to most other countries in the world. The link to the infographic we have featured perhaps highlights this the most, with the most renowned drugs controlled in some shape or form.
However, there have been some developments over more recent years. For example, in 2012 we saw Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana, and since then this has expanded to the likes of Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon. Other drugs have also been decriminalized, with the psilocybin and low-THC hemp falling into this category in certain regions.
As we all know, Canada has been in the news a lot over recent times due to its stance on cannabis. In 2018, it became only the second country in the world to formally legalize the drug – and this naturally created huge headlines.
The interesting part of this is that it hasn’t impacted society in the way that some may have initially anticipated. While the jury will still be out on the social impact, it’s the effect on businesses that we found the most interesting. Contrary to what most people may have thought, businesses aren’t really taking advantage. In actual fact, cannabis use has stagnated – meaning that many businesses who thought they would profit on the back of the new laws have been forced to close.
A lot of the countries we are talking about today are quite accepting of drugs, but that can’t be said of this next nation. Out of everywhere in the world, Dubai has some of the strictest rules around and in some cases, will even sentence those caught with drugs to death.
Of course, not every case results in the death penalty, but this article is enough reason not to even consider drugs if you are planning a trip to the UAE.
As we’ve already seen, more and more countries are taking a more liberal approach to drugs. It would be fair to say that in a lot of these, the results are somewhat mixed. In the case of Portugal, this isn’t the case in the slightest.
Let’s remind ourselves that Portugal had an utterly terrible drugs record in the 90s. Then, in 2001, they changed everything. They decided to decriminalize all drugs, and the results speak for themselves. Instead of 1% of the population being supposedly addicted to drugs as they were previously, the country has turned on its head and has one of the best records in the world.
We don’t need to say much about the Netherlands’ policy on drugs; it has something of a reputation since it became the Netherlands-as-we-know-it back in the 70s. Over more recent times there have been some calls to have a more regressive approach to drugs, which have been condemned by many quarters. This article talks about some of these developments in more detail, to show some of the challenges what the Netherlands is facing when it comes to drugs.