Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Control System Promotes Illegal Sale of Soft Drugs

In the three southern provinces of the Netherlands, an identity card was introduced on 1 May which permits people to buy in so-called “coffee shops” which sell soft drugs. Research by Nicole Maalste and Rutger Jan Hebben on behalf of the Epicurus Foundation have shown that as a result, illegal street sales of soft drugs have greatly increased and a major and uncontrollable networks has been created of street dealers who can be called for supplies. The price of soft drugs on the street is at least 25% lower than in coffee shops. In particular, those in the age group of 18-24 and non-Western immigrants buy in the street. There is a risk that the illegal dealers also sell other drugs so that youngsters come into contact with hard drugs. The police have insufficient capacity to deal with the problem. The identity card will also be introduced into the remainder of the Netherlands in 2013.

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