International Drug Policy Comparison

International Drug Policy Comparison

CJ411 Unit 8 Assignment

By: Ray Currey Jr.


Countries each possess their own provisions based upon their preferred strategy for drug control. Within this composition, the current National Drug Policies for Canada, England, and the Netherlands will be reviewed, compared and contrasted. A further assessment will be conducted to identify if such policies would be considered a viable option for the policy of the US.

The Netherlands upholds a policy, which separates the markets of illicit drugs as cannabis is typically available and purchased through strictly regulated coffee shops, where hard drugs are not acceptable (Dolin, 2001). Within this regard, the United Kingdom and Canada uphold completely opposite provisions in regards to cannabis use, as the recreational use is not tolerated as such in the Netherlands. The DE penalization Component of 1976 was a policy of the Netherlands, which increased the rate of cannabis use, which led to steep increases in commercial cannabis usage rates (Dolin, 2001).   Despite the increase in usage, the levels remained below those in the US. In 2009, the Lifetime Prevalence rate of Marijuana usage among those who are 12 years and older were 41.5%; however those of the Netherlands ranging from ages 15 to 64 totaled 25.7% (

Schedule categorizations are a similar factor among each country’s policy despite their specific differences in categorization, penalty, and drug type. The Netherlands and Canada utilize only two categorizations of drugs; whereas the UK utilizes three (Riley, 1998). The Netherlands is claimed to be the least strict of the aforementioned Countries, in regards to drug policy (Dolin, 2001). The core feature of the Netherlands’ system focuses on harm reduction and the prevention of one’s social and individual risks (Dolin, 2001).

In 1998 the government of the United Kingdom enacted a 10 year plan...