The ban on many research chemicals in the Netherlands might be a reality soon. We at ChemicalPlanet.net don’t think a ban is the solution. Therefore, we signed this petition to fight the ban. You can do the same. Don’t sign because we encourage you to sign, sign because you agree to the 11 reasons stated on the ‘Start Beter Drugsbeleid’ website:
Prohibition does not work
Drug policy has become increasingly tougher and more repressive in recent decades. What has this approach yielded? Drugs are widely available and drugs are cheaper than ever. Whether you are for or against, this policy does not work. Start Beter Drugsbeleid calls for a realistic, open dialogue.
Drug control is expensive
The fight against drugs costs at least half the capacity of the police and the judiciary and three quarters of the large criminal investigations are focused on it. Even with a conservative estimate, the cost is 4.5 billion euros per year, not including the cost of crime to society. It is better to put that money into information and assistance for the individual who is not under control.
Regulation makes money
Legalization not only saves enforcement costs, it also generates income. Drugs can be taxed: estimates range from EUR 260 million to EUR 1.600 million. Part of this goes to quality control and education, the rest to schools, hospitals, cultural institutions… you name it!
Medical innovation is being held back
The current drug policy is holding back medical innovation. Psychoactive substances are increasingly used as part of therapy, with success. A drug prohibition would stop this. At the same time, a ban does not help to prevent the production of undesirable substances. The number of new substances is inexhaustible, so there is always a loophole to be found. RIVM warned explicitly against the current approach, but this advice is deliberately ignored.
Users are not criminals
It is a misconception that you can eradicate drug crime with a heavy hand, because the question remains. It's like banning sex because people can get an STD. 23.4% of the Dutch have ever used drugs. That is more than 4 million people. 9.1% used in 2019, more than 1.5 million. Should we label all of them "abnormal"? Are they all criminals?
Drug prohibition is symbolic politics
The vast majority of users are conscious about their drug use. They choose a pill, just like you can choose to drink alcohol: in a responsible way. The current, repressive policies are not there to protect them, but to show how cool politics is.
Drugs aren't the real problem
Politicians have recently begun to point the finger at the user. It supposedly maintains a criminal circuit. But it's the prohibition that maintains that, not the user. Of course, an illegal market attracts big criminals. After all, there is a lot to be earned and they already have dirty hands. Others are sucked into the drug world due to bad living conditions. Those are the real problems, not the drugs.
Chemical waste must be tackled
The production of drugs generates chemical waste. Nowadays it is often dumped in nature, because the substances are illegal. Plants and animals experience the consequences and it ends up in our groundwater. Cleaning up this waste costs 2 to 3 million euros per year. With legalization, the waste flow can be regulated. Harmful substances are processed properly, just like in the medicine industry.
Public health is under threat
According to politicians, a ban on drugs improves public health. The opposite is true. A pill will only become popular if it is seen as safe and qualitative. The market is cleaning itself from products with nasty side effects. In addition, there are wide differences in the effects and side effects of drugs. With legalization requirements can be imposed on production, sale and use: for example with a "drug pass", age limit or a maximum percentage of active substance. If drugs are illegal, they are sold on the street. Users have to guess at the quality. This is not only annoying, it is dangerous.
Public health is under threat
According to politicians, a ban on drugs improves public health. The opposite is true. A pill will only become popular if it is seen as safe and qualitative. The market is cleaning itself from products with nasty side effects. In addition, there are wide differences in the effects and side effects of drugs. With legalization requirements can be imposed on production, sale and use: for example with a "drug card", age limit or a maximum percentage of active substance. If drugs are illegal, they are sold on the street. Users have to guess the quality. This is not only annoying, it is dangerous.
We have the right to choose
Finally, the ideological question: why does politics dictate that we should not use drugs? Many more victims are from tobacco or alcohol use than from drug use. Getting into a car is even more dangerous. You don't hurt anyone by taking a pill now and then. You should be able to choose that.