The Drug Policies of France and the Netherlands

4 April 2015
A comparison of the drug policies of France and the Netherlands.

This paper compares the lax tolerance of the Netherlands on drug policies to the staunch approach taken by the French government. It gives a history of the laws in the two countries and the effect on other European countries.
“France’s prohibition and punishment of simple drug use has provoked a strong debate for decades. A Directive of the Ministry of Justice in June 1999, asked prosecutors to prioritize treatment approaches for petty offenders, those related to drug use or to other small crimes. Where problematic drug users were concerned, the recommendation of the Directive was to apply therapeutic alternatives to prisons, stating the imprisonment of drug users, not having committed other related offenses, must be the last resort (France 2002).”

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