I was recently shocked to discover that my backwards eastern european country is one of the few in the EU that has even decriminalized drugs; I genuinely thought that this was standard in the EU but apparently not, see this map https://i.imgur.com/A0JICkk.jpg
So yeah, your country might not be so backwards after all, and in this respect at least is pretty enlightened in the grand scheme of things :-)
The tragedy of this late Labour-era push against loosening /smarting-up of drug legislation is that it fairly directly led to the boom in synthetic cannabinoids, starting with the fairly benign Spice (as a brand) and resulting in a swathe of much-stronger, less-tested and more dangerous brands flying under the radar which (all Hoover/Google-like) were collectively known as 'Spice', but have caused problems for many in the underclass and prisons and such.
I'm not much in to party politics, but this is one thing I directly attribute to Gordon Brown and his very unhelpful moralising.
The law specified dried mushrooms specifically as the stance skirted complexities regarding the picking or possession of native wildlife samples (psilocybe semilanceata predominently).
With kits offering the ability to grow easier-to-grow strains from elsewhere in the world (Central and South America principally) we sought clarification from the Home Office on whether it was actually illegal to possess and sell fresh magic mushrooms. Turns out, there wasn't anything illegal in that. Made for an interesting few years.
We assumed a change or clarification in the law at some point, so prepared for a time when sale of fresh mushrooms per se would be outlawed. We never expected them to come down as hard as they did though, so the survival/back up plan of forming a small laboratory to grow mycelium and take spore prints and cater to an enthusiast market was all for naught.
Strange to think at the time that we thought we were on the verge of the UK being at the front of the line for a change in stance on cannabis and drugs generally, but Mr. Brown took us down a different path.
Wow, didn’t know that. Which years are we talking about, roughly?
Under New Labour (not to be confused with the Labour Party) the generic catch-all term 'cannabis' was down-graded to Class C. So still illegal.
Then, after a few complaints from parents with kids ending up in lunatic asylums due to smoking too much high-grade weed, something had to be done.
The market for weed has changed a lot over the years, in the last century the product came from who-knows-where and was generally that resin stuff with who-knows-what in it.
Then the market changed to the regular 'skunk' weed - dried leaves of weed.
This then became a bit of a racket, if you believe the Daily Mail it became the business of Vietnamese gangs with the money being laundered through cash only nail bars. For a while the product was quite dangerously adulterated with wallpaper paste sprayed on to make it look extra good. The slight problem with this is that the wallpaper paste would not do wonders for circulatory systems, giving rise to blood clots etc.
There was also a side-problem of legal highs, e.g. 'spice', these really tipping people over the edge into psychosis.
The adulterated weed was soon rejected by the customers and even stronger 'high grade' weed began to be what was available.
By now the older sticky resin type of weed that your grandfather smoked whilst listening to The Beatles and wearing tie-dye clothing was no longer available. We had gone from 'shandy' to 'absinthe', a different beast.
Also to note is that the government is nowadays Conservative so there is nobody in power wanting to enable people to enjoy the finer grades of weed - just ban it is the attitude. People who do smoke the stuff do end up with ideas above their station and you can't have that.
Often the word 'psychosis' was used to describe the kids that worried their parents by smoking too much of the stuff. 'Paranoid' was also an oft-used word. Sure the more modern weeds are a lot more intoxicating than the cannabis resin that went around in the olden days but it is always easier to blame the coping strategy rather than the root problem, e.g. the difficulty of being a teenager in modern Britain.
Do you have any reason to believe this is an actual, honest to God, widespread problem?
Was it a common occurrence in the US, that construction workers would cause accidents because of smoking cannabis? And btw, do you know of any study showing a negative correlation between drug testing and accidents? Or is this more "lie detector"-style "science" -- an excuse to stick your nose in other people's private affairs?
> Do you have any reason to believe this is an actual, honest to God, widespread problem?
Yes, my professional experience. American workers seem to find intrusive practices such as drug testing perfectly normal, exactly in the way that you are expressing. In Europe, such tests are much more regulated, as well as many other forms of abuse of power by the employer, and yet I never had any problems with bricks falling over my head.
Are you suggesting the US isn't the land of the free because people aren't free to come to work intoxicated and potentially endanger their colleagues?
In short, it's freedom from a government, which isn't too surprising considering the places in which "free" is used and the history behind the formation of the country.
It should be fairly clear, then, when you consider that the freedom refers to lower government intervention in the actions of people, and sometimes a hostility towards this intervention.
This concept isn't really unique to the US, though other developed countries tend to have a less extreme approach in most practical areas. Switzerland, for instance, is usually an exception compared to its neighbors when it comes to privatization, healthcare, parental leave, etc. and a similar justification of reduced government intervention and more freedom of choice is often used here.
Perfectly reasonable. And don't forget, "only losers do drugs"...
Here's the Mayo Clinic page on caffeine.
No security implications there. Of course, by security, it is meant "security against lawsuits". Actual human beings don't really matter in this equation.
The whole country is a patchwork right now
this is a stark and growing area of conflicts of laws
the constitution is setup to avoid this issue, but it is current irreconcilable on the topic of weed as the federal government derives its power from a consensus of the collective states.
I assume it's because it's pretty much the pearl of the region (Bavaria) and if you take this away there is not much left. Also the city is full of pretty rich people who tend to this kind of behaviour.
You see the same in people where the location of the city is similar like Warsaw in Poland for example being surrounded by backwater villages.
Because of just this.
They are the elite who can afford living there.
I was on a business trip in Munich once, took the chance to visit a friend who got me a hand full pre-rolled joints for the remaining days I had to spend in the city. One night after work I went out to the park opposite the hotel and started smoking.
I was suddenly surrounded by police. They are really all over the city and I was stupid. They went through my stuff in the hotel, I gave them the remaining joints and they left. A few weeks later I got a letter saying that they won't follow up on it according to §31a Abs.1 BtMG.
That’s a very strong “might“. Possession is legal for up to 15g in Berlin, and virtually no cop will ever bother you for smoking weed.
Given the fact they're sharing a border with France: probably a good idea.
Well good for you, but as someone who lives in the centre of Amsterdam I can understand the motivation to discourage drug tourism.
Edit: to clarify it's not the reams of tourists getting high in coffee shops that I have a problem with, but the knock-on effects of it. Tourists treat the city like an adult themepark and recently the city council have been taking steps to address these problems.
I was in Amsterdam this morning and everyone I talked to explicitly mentioned it being done against drunk Englishmen on stag dos. I remember myself hating fractious drunk English stag parties, and have fond memories of pointing polite and hapless stoned Italians to the street we were already on.
Tourists from the UK are reviled by Amsterdam and they’ve ruined it so much the entire city centre now has an alcohol ban.
It has nothing to do with weed.
Also, Dutch stag parties seem not to be that far off what happens in the UK.
In general, they're not really a completely open border. They're pretty strict about who they let in. They'll check into your US 'criminal record' and make judgements based on that. (A bit of an overeach.. but a bit weird if you have a DUI and they reject you [that's their policy])
I'm not sure why they get a complete pass to claim that they're the good guys when the US isn't as picky. (Yes, the US is a PITA to travel to)
Also problematic is the fact that in a lot of countries everything is outlawed so they might go looking for hard drugs where soft drugs are being sold. I've seen enough tourists seen thrown(1) out of a coffeeshop for asking any kind of hard drugs. What they don't find in coffeeshops they do find with street dealers.
(1) yes, flying
This is not to say I think alcohol should be banned or more strongly controlled, but rather that we should really rethink how we harshly we view things like cannabis
LSD is often liquid before being deposited on a stamp.
Molecules are what matters, not the structure or state, and alcohol (like tobacco) is effectively a drug.
The only point of comparison I have is amsterdam and people are definitely flying/road tripping there for short "drug vacations" (I genuinely think everyone I know has been there at least once for that purpose), which in my book is not so good for the environment and a more than debatable reason to fly/drive hundreds of kms.
How would such a ban work?
You can have rules that apply only to residents, but they have to be applied to any resident.
It's a good thing they picked Luxembourg for this experiment, it will cut back on the travel time for everyone involved getting to the ECJ
Nope. At least by now, but little by little they are taking the sovereignty of members.
In The Netherlands, its 5 gram per person max, and IIRC also 4 or 5 XTC pills (I can't quite remember). Though that information is from '00s. It might've changed, I don't know.
For weed, the law states a maximum of 5 grams (or 5 plants, if you grow them).
For any 'hard' drugs, such as XTC the legal limit is 0. But if you get caught carrying an amount that is small enough to be considered for personal use, the police usually won't act on it.
If you carry larger quantities than what is considered personal use, it is usually confiscated and you risk a fine (but only if the police has indication that you are selling the drugs).
The weird thing is that the 5 gram rule also counts for the weed dispensary (which are known as 'coffee shops' in NL). So even though it is legal for them to sell the cannabis from their shop, they can't legally buy it from the grower. They aren't even supposed to have more than 5 grams in stock. The growers that supply the shops must also do this illegally, and they are constantly playing cat-and-mouse with the police.
Clearly, the law is ambiguous and both police, growers and dispensary owners are encouraging the government to fully legalize cannabis.
We had odd ways to go around the police. Once in a year they'd show up, in numbers. Some kind of yearly ritual. Our main trick was to accidentally throw down a trash bin in such a case so that the "refiller" (trusted middle man with social skills who sat between the growers and me) would know that he shouldn't show up. All the stash was stored just 2 floors above the shop in a civilian apartment floor. He'd hear the noise through the heating pipe.
I'm glad I quit because, quite frankly, I didn't have the social skills for this job (autism, lack of balls for the semi criminal cirtcuit, street slang, etc). I felt my co-employees and boss were more focused on sales than on proper guidance of tourists. I've refused to sell people (especially spacecake) based on maturity/knowledge signals I picked up. Though that wasn't the main reason why I quit I'm glad I don't have to feel guilty for that anymore (because there's always a losing party to such decision).
From the article, it sounds like Luxembourg is the same:
"those who break the more generous laws will be hit with harsh penalties under the plan"
Everybody, apart from organized and local crime, wins.
Are you referring to the sickly green colour and unreadable size of the graphic, or are making a value judgement about the fact that there seems to be a correlation between national GDP and the use of a moderately harmless psychoactive drug for recreational purposes?
You could be less ambiguous.
Edit: but sale of cannabis is legal in the NL, under some conditions.
In short you have (making these terms up):
1. Growers who produce and distribute the weed,
2. Runners who pick it up and bring it to the coffeeshop,
It's only legal for the coffeeshops to sell.
This sometimes devolves to a game like tag. The runners need to go as fast to the coffeeshop as possible in the most stealthy way. If the police catch them, then they are in trouble. However, if they bring it into the coffeeshop, they are safe.
Disclaimer: I am very biased here, I think this whole system is idiotic. The Netherlands should legalize weed. They have two economic incentives (1) weed tax and (2) sustained tourism.
 https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/drugs/gedoogbeleid-... - official source
 https://www.jellinek.nl/informatie-over-alcohol-drugs/cannab... - some talkshow source but explains it quite well
(3) professional agriculture can start producing high quality cannabis in greenhouses instead of the often dangerous attic setups with stolen electricity. (although people do get very creative! https://nltimes.nl/2016/07/22/cannabis-farm-found-eindhoven-...)
Is that really true? If the police wanted to, all they'd have to do is search any courier who comes in to the shop, or use video surveillance inside or outside the shop. There are infinite ways to try to crack down on sale and distribution, if they wanted to. But they don't seem to want to, and focus their resources on fighting "hard drugs" rather than cannabis.
On the other hand, some years back there was news that the conservative government was forcing the closure of a lot of coffeshops, and that there's been a backlash from the locals against drug tourists from other countries flooding their country, making a mess, getting in to fights, vomiting in their flowerpots, and just generally being annoying. They of course bring in lots of tourist revenue, but I guess the Dutch don't value that as much as they used to.
@ umvi: weed usage is tolerated on the consumer-side in The Netherlands, by law it is illegal.
> If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply of anything from marijuana to heroin, he or she is sent to a three-person Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, typically made up of a lawyer, a doctor and a social worker. The commission recommends treatment or a minor fine; otherwise, the person is sent off without any penalty. A vast majority of the time, there is no penalty.
Quote from: https://www.mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-...
Production and sale are still criminalised in Portugal, and possession is still considered illegal, but with no penalties to first time offenders and considered a health issue for repeated offenders.
The major difference - Decriminalisation complies with their international obligations as per signed international treaties, Legalisation does not.
State of Luxembourg thinks they will get away with that, and I would bet this has been thoroughly vetted with their international partners.
This Luxembourg plan is a good start but:
- legalization in 5 years
- non-residents cant buy
This is still so odd and ridiculous
Even Portugal doesnt regulate the cultivation and sale of weed. So there is no lit market anywhere and the quality all sucks.
Its like come on Germany or someone central, legalize it.
You got girls running around regulated decadent brothels hiding weed and party favors from the cops like its high school. Combinations that are like really? Thats what we’re worried about here?
So like I said, almost perfect.
The upside is that the wealth from legal cannabis sales will now flow through to the rich white men where it belongs rather than to the minority folk who dominate the black market.
I see dealers in the local park. They don't tend to be wealthy white men, and they don't tend to be the people running the organized crime either. The organized crime will just move into more profitable areas like phishing scams and bond ratings agencies. It's the dealers on the street who suffer the most from the legalization of the recreational cannabis trade.
I definitely see legalization as best for society as a whole. I'm just uncomfortable with yet another way the cream floats to the top.
Nothing is stopping non white people from opening legal dispensaries. Don’t be so racist, maybe smoke some weed and chill out?
That's a feature of capitalism. If it makes money and can be controlled by already existing entities => make it legal, otherwise => shut it down.
Also, let's stop making every single issue a skin color issue, it's more of a "rich people" thing than a "white people" thing. https://tysonranch.com http://khalifakush.com
I'm sure the cannabis industry created thousands of jobs which aren't for "white people" only and which offer better horizons than dealing in the streets.
> because I own stock and get the annual reports
Honest question, why don't you practice what you preach and invest in "non white" companies ?
Smart folks don't just accept arbitrary and capricious rules that in practice cause more harm than good. Wise people work to change the rules in such cases. That's what they're trying to do in Luxembourg.