International — Drug Control Policies Around The World

Physician and Patient Attitudes Toward Medical Cannabis in The Netherlands

"Recently, a survey performed on 200 patients who were using medicinal cannabis during the first months after its introduction in the Netherlands was published.49 The survey showed that most of the respondents had previous experiences with cannabis use for medicinal purposes or with synthetic cannabinoids such as dronabinol, whereas a minority of 40% were “new” users. Most patients were satisfied using medicinal cannabis; only 10% of patients reported moderate to more severe transitory adverse effects.

Drug Law Offenses in Belgium, by Type

Drug Law Offenses in Belgium, by Type: "Drug use and possession are reported together as one offence since 2010, as individual drug use implies the possession of drugs. Before 2010, use and possession were often separately taken into account, which resulted in an overestimation of the total number of drug law offences. For this reason, numbers are only reported from 2010 on. In 2013, a total of 979,020 criminal offences were registered, of which 47,269 concerned drug law offences (possession (and use), trade, trafficking, or production of drugs). The proportion of drug-related offences raised to 4.8%. This was the first increase of prevalence in four years.

Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Young People in Belgium

Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Young People in Belgium: "The prevalence found for cannabis use in the 2011-2012 VAD School Survey confirm the trend found in previous Belgian studies (Godin et al., 2011;Kinable, 2011;Lambrecht and Andries, 2013;Lombaert, 2011;Melis, 2013). The study shows that about one fifth (20.9%) of the 15-16 year old and one third (36.6%) of the oldest school students (17-18y) used cannabis at least once in their lives. About one fifth (21.1%) of the oldest age group also used cannabis during the last 12 months prior to the survey. Both the lifetime and the last year prevalence of the oldest students were about 10 times higher compared to those found in the youngest age group (12-13y: respectively 4.4% and 2.4%). There is a stabilisation of regular use to around 3% since the 2005-06 survey (see Figure 2.1).

Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and Federal Prohibition

Marijuana Tax Act of 1937: "Marijuana essentially became illegal in 1937 pursuant to the Marijuana Tax Act.39 The use of marijuana required the payment of a tax for usage; failure to pay the tax resulted in a large fine or stiff prison time for tax evasion.40 Drug prohibition was elevated to another level by targeting 'marijuana,' a plant that had never demonstrated any harm to anyone.41


"Illicit drug use by women is also not new. By the end of the 19th century, almost two thirds of the nation's opium and morphine addicts were women [2]. The issue of drug use during pregnancy garnered the national spotlight starting in the 1960's when public attention began to focus on the possible harm to the unborn child. Less than 15 years after Chuck Yaeger shattered the sound barrier, several events combined to shatter the placental barrier – the notion that the fetus was protected and even invulnerable.

Legal Coca Production

Legal Coca Production: "Coca is regarded as a sacred leaf by some of the indigenous American communities of the Andes and Amazon basin, where it has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years (Mortimer, 1974). As a consequence, the legal status of coca is sometimes ambiguous in South America, complicating efforts to control cocaine production.

Russian Demand Reduction and Treatment Services Deficient and Generally Ineffective

"The Russian government addresses demand reduction and drug abuse prevention in the State Counternarcotics Strategy. The Strategy outlines ongoing deficiencies in the demand reduction system, including insufficient medical treatment and social rehabilitation services, a shortage of specialized workers (doctors and social workers) and a shortage of centers serving drug abusers. At present, there exist only four state-run and 70 non-governmental organization (NGO) centers for rehabilitation of drug addicts.