National Drug Policies


NationalDrug Policies

NationalDrug Policies

Adrug can be a substance used to treat diseases or it can be asubstance other than food that can affect the function or structureof the body. In other words, a drug can be used for treatment or astimulant. In this essay attention will be placed on illicit whichare usually used for stimulant purposes. The essay will delve innational drug policies of Canada, England and the Netherlands beforecomparing and contrasting their policies with those of the U.S.Finally, a brief assessment of the viability of these policies to theU.S will be discussed.

Marijuanatops the list of illicit drugs used in Canada but the harm and socialcost attributed to the drug is relatively low. A survey conducted in1994, shows that 16.5 million Canadian citizens admitted to drinkingin the last 12 months. In regards to tobacco, 27% of Canadiancitizens over the age of 15 admitted to be tobacco consumers. Nearly5 million Canadian residents use some type of medications such asanti-depressants, sleeping pills and other stimulants. However,Cannabis was reported to be the most abused drug in Canada with 23%of Canadians admitting to having used the drug at some point in theirlife. The federal government is fully in charge for controlling theexportation, importation and advertising of alcohol in the Canadawhen it comes to alcohol and tobacco. However, the controlled drugsand substance act (CDSA) is the federal statute that deals withillicit drugs. It addresses six offenses these include: trafficking,cultivation, exportation or importation, possession and prescriptionshopping (Riley,1998).

Inthe U.K, the government set out a 10 year strategy for dealing withdrug misuse in the country. The plan was published in a paperTackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain. The strategy had fourtargets: the youth, treatment, communities and availability. Byfocusing on the youth, the government intended to see to it thatyoung people achieve their maximum potential. 93% and 75% of highschool and primary schools had drug education policies in theirschools. The government enacted measures to ensure that offenders whomisuse drugs are receive appropriate treatment. Finally, thegovernment played a crucial role of stifling the availability ofdrugs all over the streets by reducing the accessibility of drugs topersons below 16 years of age. In the U.K, the Misuse of DrugsRegulations 1985 regulates the control of listed drugs in thecountry. Under the act there are 3 classes of drugs: Class A, B andC. Class A addresses the harmful drugs and has severe penalties fordrugs such as heroin, cocaine, morphine and LSD. Class B includes:cannabis, synthetic stimulants and sedatives. Finally, class C refersto less harmful drugs such as tranquilizers. The penalties forpossession of the possession and trafficking of these drugs are 7years, 5 years and 2 years in prison for Class A, B and Crespectively. The UK drug policy commission was in charge ofobjective analysis and drug policy in the U.K between 2007 and 2012(NationalDrug Policy: United Kingdom, 2001).

TheNetherlands is probably famous for its tolerant drug policy more thananything else. It is illegal to possess, produce, import or exportand sell drugs in the Netherlands. The government of Holland has atolerant drug policy that allows the use of cannabis under strictregulation. The main aim of the drug policy in Holland is to addressthe demand and supply of drugs and the risk to the end users and thesurrounding environment. The regulation on drugs in the Netherlandscan be found in the Opium Act. The act draws a line between harddrugs such as heroin and cocaine and soft drugs such as marijuana.The penalties for exporting and importing hard drugs vary between 12years and 16 years in prison. Drug advertising and persons under theage of 18 are prohibited from purchasing and having access to coffeeshops(DutchDrug Policy, 2014).

Thereseems to be any notable difference between the three countries as faras drug policies are concerned. The three nations strongly disapprovethe use of hard drugs and any individual caught trafficking,possessing or selling these drugs could face harsh penalties such aslong prison sentences. However, the Netherlands stands out for theirtolerant drug policy which allows the individual consumption of softdrugs.

Inmy opinion, the Netherlands drug policy can be implemented in theU.S. Their policy has recorded successful results by registering thelowest deaths in Europe. This way the government can focus theirattention on big criminals.


DutchDrug Policy.(2014, October 25). Retrieved from

NationalDrug Policy: United Kingdom.(2001, July 3). Retrieved from Parliament of Canda:

Riley,D. (1998, November). Drugsand Drug Policy in Canada.Retrieved from Parliament of Canada: