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Old 01-06-2020, 04:18 AM
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WILL we live to see legal cocaine in America?


Is there any chance of it happening? There are two good arguments for it: it would help reduce the power of cartels, and it's nowhere near as destructive as alcohol which is fully legal. What are the arguments against it?
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:42 AM
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No chance. FDA banned ephedrine alkaloids (ephedra) in supplements in 2004. Cocaine is exponentially harsher than ephedrine, and can be made into crack. Arguments against cocaine and crack? See Wikipedia and erowid.org.

Cocaine versus alcohol? See this analysis:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:R...radar_plot.svg

You probably won't see recreational marijuana legalized in 50 states/federally in your lifetime.

Last edited by road_lobo; 01-06-2020 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:22 AM
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I anticipate decriminalization of any and all recreational drugs within the next couple decades.

Here's why:
1. The benefit of criminalizing recreational drugs is an effort to legislate healthier populations. The downside is an enormous social cost, disproportionately levied against the already-disadvantaged. I think it's hard to prove that the most cost-effective route to healthier populations is criminalizing personal behavior. So you have a big cost without achieving the result you want.

2. It has become increasingly difficult and impractical for legislation to keep up with new chemicals

3. The impact of criminalizing recreational drugs has been disproportionately destructive to the black community and social structure. Sensitivity toward this reality is increasing.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:57 AM
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I live in NC. I doubt I see legal pot here as we are in the bible belt. Certainly nothing other than pot will be legal in the next 20 years here.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
I anticipate decriminalization of any and all recreational drugs within the next couple decades.

Here's why:
1. The benefit of criminalizing recreational drugs is an effort to legislate healthier populations. The downside is an enormous social cost, disproportionately levied against the already-disadvantaged. I think it's hard to prove that the most cost-effective route to healthier populations is criminalizing personal behavior. So you have a big cost without achieving the result you want.

2. It has become increasingly difficult and impractical for legislation to keep up with new chemicals

3. The impact of criminalizing recreational drugs has been disproportionately destructive to the black community and social structure. Sensitivity toward this reality is increasing.
This is very logical reasoning. However, this nation's prohibitionist forces, aided by a constitution making it easy to block the national popular will, is determined to ignore the science of the matter and focus instead on the need to punish those who offend their societal sensibilities.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:56 AM
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Perhaps a future Administration will move to legalize and then subsidize cheap drugs of abuse (so everyone can readily afford them) and also spend $$$ for massive expansion of addiction services, as well as funding for establishing reliable blood testing, assuming any companies are allowed to limit employment to non-users.

Some of this massive spending could be financed by taxes on legal drugs (which is part of what's behind approval of legalized pot).

It'll be a huge mess, which thankfully I probably won't be around to see.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:06 AM
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Is there any chance of it happening? There are two good arguments for it: it would help reduce the power of cartels, and it's nowhere near as destructive as alcohol which is fully legal. What are the arguments against it?
It's nowhere near as destructive as alcohol because it's not legal and therefore not as commonly used as alcohol.

How the HELL did the notion that cocaine can't be harmful get started?

Once upon a time cocaine was legal over the counter. Once upon a time every drug was legal over the counter. There were a bunch of problems arising from that, which led to prohibition and the requirement to get a prescription from a doctor to access a lot of drugs. Granted, the solution wasn't perfect but entirely removing all restrictions will just lead us back to the original problem situation.

Maybe one day cocaine will be legal again. If so, we're going to rediscover that there can be serious problems with both its use and abuse.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:11 AM
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In terms of addiction, just how strong/addictive are the legal/illegal drugs? Is cocaine like, 5x more addictive than tobacco?
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
it's nowhere near as destructive as alcohol which is fully legal.
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Originally Posted by road_lobo View Post
Cocaine versus alcohol? See this analysis:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:R...radar_plot.svg
Thanks for this. Does the chart take into account the legalities? i.e. would the harm assessment for cocaine change radically if it were legal?
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:42 AM
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Being legal would mitigate some of the issues but the bottom line is cocaine makes good people do bad things.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:34 PM
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Maybe one day cocaine will be legal again. If so, we're going to rediscover that there can be serious problems with both its use and abuse.
Maybe so, but there are a lot of things which are legal but which cause serious problems. We simply live with a government that makes some things illegal in all or most cases (cocaine, opium, internet gambling) and leaves other things legal (tobacco, liquor, state lotteries) and there's no logical basis for it.

If a large number of people want to use a substance, then making that substance illegal causes them to shift towards illegal sources. Illegal sources tend to be much more dangerous than legal, regulated sources. For example, before Prohibition most Americans drank beer. During Prohibition, there was a huge shift to hard liquor because it was easier for criminals to produce and transport small amounts of liquor rather than huge volumes of beer. Outlaw cocaine and you get a crack epidemic. Outlaw opium and you get heroin and then fentanyl.

If we decriminalized cocaine and opium and other recreational drugs, then they could be produced by professionals in a heavily regulated environment. They could be offered in low, standardized doses. By contrast, right now they're produced by criminals so obviously there's no regulation or standardization and thus there's a huge danger of overdose deaths.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:07 PM
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In terms of addiction, just how strong/addictive are the legal/illegal drugs? Is cocaine like, 5x more addictive than tobacco?
I'm not sure how one would objectively measure that. Tobacco is psychologically tough to withdraw from, but not really dangerous to do so. And it tends not to wreck jobs, relationships, finances, as well. So it's hard to quit, and people don't have a lot of urgent incentive to quit, so it's "harder".

As far as likelihood to get addicted, I had to work hard at both my tobacco and alcohol habit before it really stuck, a years-long unpleasant chore of consuming those disgusting things repeatedly until I was finally rewarded with a crippling dependence.

By contrast, when I sampled cocaine and opioids, I immediately dropped that mess like a hot potato. It felt so good that I could see getting sucked into it very quickly. Especially cocaine, I think I could have gotten hooked hard on cocaine in 10 days easy. There's a reason those drugs are a serious public health concern.

If those are ever legalized, I hope they are heavily regulated and not commercialized, basically the opposite of what happened with marijuana legalization. It should require a revocable license, it should be standardized and sold in state facilities in a boring brown paper bag labeled "dangerous drugs". Whatever is necessary to legalize it, but keep people safe.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:59 PM
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Q: WILL we live to see legal cocaine in America?
A: The feds just announced a ban on non-tank flavored vapes
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
Being legal would mitigate some of the issues but the bottom line is cocaine makes good people do bad things.
So does money, booze, and sex, but those haven't been banned yet.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:02 PM
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a lot of therapists say one of the hardest addictions to quit is smoking. It can be harder than heroin. The joke is "Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it 10 times"
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:24 PM
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Well from personal experience I never understood how someone could blow all their money on drugs until I tried coke, then I understood completely. I didn't blow all my money on it but I understood how people get sucked in, it's a powerful temptation.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:51 PM
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Maybe so, but there are a lot of things which are legal but which cause serious problems. We simply live with a government that makes some things illegal in all or most cases (cocaine, opium, internet gambling) and leaves other things legal (tobacco, liquor, state lotteries) and there's no logical basis for it.
Incorrect and historically ignorant.

As I said, it used to be ALL drugs were over the counter. The big cut-off date was 1914 with the Harrison Narcotics Act.

While there was some illogic involved because the people who drafted the legislation weren't doctors or medically trained, this was not pulled out of nowhere. Opiates and cocaine being freely available were causing significant damage in society. Later, alcohol was prohibited because of damage caused. That was rolled back when the side effects of Prohibition were deemed greater than the evils of allowing alcohol. Opium and cocaine didn't have the cultural meanings that alcohol did so less call to abolish prohibition on them.

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For example, before Prohibition most Americans drank beer. During Prohibition, there was a huge shift to hard liquor because it was easier for criminals to produce and transport small amounts of liquor rather than huge volumes of beer.
Bullshit. Hard liquor was not invented due to Prohibition or in response to it. Distilled liquor dates back to the 13th Century. Sugar cane was used to make rum in the 17th Century. Gin dates back to the same era. In the early US farmers make whiskey from grain because that was so much easier to transport than actual grain (see Whiskey Rebellion). The notion that hard liquor arose in response to Prohibition is revisionist history.

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Outlaw cocaine and you get a crack epidemic. Outlaw opium and you get heroin and then fentanyl.
More revisionist history.

Heroin was invented in 1874, long before the Harrison Act. It was re-synthesized by someone at Bayer and by 1895 it was being sold over the counter. The invention of heroin had nothing to do with "outlawing opium".

Crack didn't show up until the early 1980's... seventy years after cocaine was removed from over the counter purchase. If there's any connection it is very, very indirect.

Please cease promoting false, revisionist history of pharmaceuticals and their regulation.

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Originally Posted by ITR champion View Post
If we decriminalized cocaine and opium and other recreational drugs, then they could be produced by professionals in a heavily regulated environment. They could be offered in low, standardized doses.
Right, because that worked out so well the FIRST time around.

Codeine is available over the counter in Siberia, but that didn't stop people from cooking it into krokodil, which has absolutely horrific side effects.

I'm not saying we should outlaw everything. Aside from that not working in the 1930's, I think there are substances where the damage from outlawing them potentially outweighs the damage causing by allowing them, but that doesn't mean removal of ALL regulation and anything goes is a solution to the problems of addiction, prohibition, and impairment either.

I could, perhaps, see permitting coca leaves for chewing or as a tea, as historically was the case in the Andes/Peru/other areas where it was grown the past... but you'd still have people refining it, or trying to, to a more pure, active, and potentially dangerous state just as people in Siberia turn codeine pills into krokodil or people in American trailerparks turn Sudafed into methamphetamine. Legalizing all drugs might solve some problems but it will most emphatically NOT solve all the problems.

Last edited by Broomstick; 01-06-2020 at 06:56 PM.
  #17  
Old 01-06-2020, 07:34 PM
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There have been some studies done ranking drugs for their harmfulness and cocaine (especially crack cocaine) is fairly high:
http://www.ias.org.uk/uploads/pdf/ne...cet-011110.pdf

Mushrooms don't look too dangerous though.

Last edited by PastTense; 01-06-2020 at 07:35 PM.
  #18  
Old 01-06-2020, 08:20 PM
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The notion that hard liquor arose in response to Prohibition is revisionist history.
True.

But there's no question that one side effect of Prohibition was increased consumption of stronger drink.*

Part of this was because hard liquor offered more bang for the buck to manufacture and transport. People were also more likely to put it away faster in speakeasies amid the threat of raids.

I'm not familiar first hand with the stuff, but based on what I've seen second hand, I think legal recreational cocaine would be a big mistake in America.


*Cite: the book "Prohibition" by Daniel Okrent, upon which the Ken Burns documentary was based.
**Another was less drinking overall.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:29 PM
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Well from personal experience I never understood how someone could blow all their money on drugs until I tried coke, then I understood completely. I didn't blow all my money on it but I understood how people get sucked in, it's a powerful temptation.
We actually do already have a problem with people blowing all their money on drugs - pharmaceutical drugs (and not just opiates). The rapacious pharma and insurance industries have seen to that. I'm not sure why coke should be much different - if it were legalized I would want it included, like all drugs, under a sweeping healthcare reform that would prevent price-gouging. Yes, even for cocaine.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:56 PM
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I could see the federal government moving mj to a different Schedule, so that it would be available medically. Probably within 10 years or so. However the states that have medical pot would then need to modify their laws. Those states don't require prescriptions, nor is the medical pot they currently have anywhere close to the standards of purity and dosage that prescription drugs generally have.

Less likely is mj being removed from the Schedules altogether, which is what it would take to make it legal recreationally. And even then, there are some states that still wouldn't legalize it.

I don't see any other drug being removed from the Schedules any time soon.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ITR champion
For example, before Prohibition most Americans drank beer. During Prohibition, there was a huge shift to hard liquor because it was easier for criminals to produce and transport small amounts of liquor rather than huge volumes of beer.
Bullshit. Hard liquor was not invented due to Prohibition or in response to it.
No claim was made that spirits were INVENTED due to Prohibition, but that consumption SHIFTED to more transportable forms then. My grandparents in Michigan preferred beer but during Prohibition they smuggled bottles of wine and whiskey from Canada, hidden under their car's front seat behind Grandma's long skirt. Barrels of beer would have been harder to hide.

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Heroin was invented in 1874, long before the Harrison Act. It was re-synthesized by someone at Bayer and by 1895 it was being sold over the counter. The invention of heroin had nothing to do with "outlawing opium".
Correct. Heroin was marketed as a "cure" for rampant morphine addiction such as by wounded War of Southern Treason veterans. US opioid consumption peaked in 1896 - probably with many veterans dying - but was sustained by doped-up patent medicines mostly consumed to ease "female problems".

The Harrison Act (1914) was driven by racism. Black men snorting coke raped White women and improved their gun marksmanship. White women consorted with Chinese men in opium dens. Oh, the horror! Such were the claims. Similarly the Marihuana Tax Act (1937) was fueled by propaganda that Blacks and Mexicans "ruined" White women.

Fentanyl administered by POC hasn't killed lots of White women so it's taken awhile to be addressed. Male deaths from Fentanyl are associated with factory closings (shut by WASP owners?) but those boys don't really matter, do they?
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:07 PM
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Darn edit window! I wanted to add (returning to OP) that I doubt we'll see legalized cocaine anytime soon in the US. Not because of rational enlightenment, but new designer synthetics will likely render mere coke irrelevant. Why bother legalizing that old stuff that few want any more? New stuff will be developed faster than it can be outlawed, just watch.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:50 AM
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But there's no question that one side effect of Prohibition was increased consumption of stronger drink.
As you noted, overall less alcohol was consumed, but yes, of what was consumed a higher proportion was stronger and more concentrated.

That's because prohibition largely eliminates casual/social use, which tends to be low-level amounts of whatever substance you're discussing, leaving those whose use is more problematic/abusive. If you outlaw something someone with genuine casual use can simply stop their consumption. The addict can not.

As I said, something like coca tea or chewing coca would probably not be toxic and could allow for social use. But something like fentanyl is so concentrated and potent I just don't see how it could become "recreational" in use.

Legalization will increase overall usage of whatever you're legalizing. That means more people will get into trouble (some of whom would have wound up in trouble anyway) but for something like pot more users are probably going to be casual in control. Not so sure that would be the case with some other drugs.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:56 AM
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How the HELL did the notion that cocaine can't be harmful get started?
We live in a post-facts world, that's why
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:17 AM
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Darn edit window! I wanted to add (returning to OP) that I doubt we'll see legalized cocaine anytime soon in the US. Not because of rational enlightenment, but new designer synthetics will likely render mere coke irrelevant. Why bother legalizing that old stuff that few want any more?
I dunno - why do people still use old fashioned herbs instead of artificial flavorings?

Why do people drink herbal tea instead of popping pills?

Why do people bother to drink beer and wine instead of just drinking straight ethanol?

Not everyone is looking to get smashed at speed.

But I agree that drug laws are driven as much by emotion, superstition, and bigotry as rational reasons.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:01 AM
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No claim was made that spirits were INVENTED due to Prohibition, but that consumption SHIFTED to more transportable forms then.
And that was nothing new - see Whiskey Rebellion. See rum production in the Caribbean.

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Correct. Heroin was marketed as a "cure" for rampant morphine addiction such as by wounded War of Southern Treason veterans. US opioid consumption peaked in 1896 - probably with many veterans dying - but was sustained by doped-up patent medicines mostly consumed to ease "female problems".
You forgot about its in teething medications for infants and cough syrups of all ages. I have no doubt that it worked to numb the pain of teething, and no doubt parents used these sorts of things to quiet down children and help them sleep (much the way Benadryl is sometimes used today) but it was resulting in a LOT of problems at all levels of society.

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The Harrison Act (1914) was driven by racism.
While racism was a factor it is overly simplistic to assert that was the only reason. At the time temperance movements stemming out of a religious stance were gaining ground, there were class issues at play (poor whites were regarded as equally problematic), and the fact that addiction, even when the substance abused is legal, is enormously damaging and there were people interested in solving that problem not out of bigotry or religious fanaticism but because they wanted to come up with a solution to a very real problem.

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Fentanyl administered by POC hasn't killed lots of White women so it's taken awhile to be addressed. Male deaths from Fentanyl are associated with factory closings (shut by WASP owners?) but those boys don't really matter, do they?
Again, while race and class issues are at play they are not the only reason these things are a problem.

On top of that, fentanyl has a very real and useful role to play in surgical anesthesia - substances that have actual medicinal uses pose issues that those that are not used medically (like "magic mushrooms") don't, or that can be replaced (cocaine is very useful in facial surgeries but due to legal issues, not medical ones, is difficult obtain and use and thus has been largely replaced), do not.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:21 AM
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Darn edit window! I wanted to add (returning to OP) that I doubt we'll see legalized cocaine anytime soon in the US. Not because of rational enlightenment, but new designer synthetics will likely render mere coke irrelevant. Why bother legalizing that old stuff that few want any more? New stuff will be developed faster than it can be outlawed, just watch.
Probably not... the 1986 analog act has made this much more difficult to pull off. And as long as cocaine is out there, trust me, there will be takers for it. Cocaine directly hammers on the "reward" button in the human brain. That's a sensation that never gets old.

Someday there might be other drugs that do the same job, but nothing will ever do it better.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:24 AM
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Portugal decriminalized small amounts of all drugs in 2001. They are not going to hell in a handbasket.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

Recently cops found $1 billion worth of cocaine shipped out of S. America. ( $1 bil street value)

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 01-07-2020 at 08:27 AM.
  #29  
Old 01-07-2020, 08:39 PM
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Dutch police officers have a differing view on drug crime in the Netherlands.

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50821542

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One opinion poll suggested 59% of people believed the Netherlands was now a narco-state, in other words a country whose economy is dependent on the trade in illegal drugs.
Quote:
With its extensive transport network, its lenient drug laws and penalties, and its proximity to a number of lucrative markets, it is an obvious hub for the global narcotics flow.
The Netherlands run the risk of becoming like Mexico. Not necessarily a place with a lot of drug abusers, but a pipeline that gangsters fight over.
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