OPINION: It’s time to think about going Dutch on drugs

I WAS lucky enough to visit amazing Amsterdam during my recent long service leave.

Today's front-page story about the increasing problem of ice in Bundaberg gave me reason to reflect on that.

Bridges' Sharon Sarah says ice is now the service's primary drug of concern, having overtaken marijuana.

I'm not surprised.

In the Netherlands, of course, marijuana is legal. It's served in coffee shops, as if it were a simple milkshake or waffle.

However, the Dutch take a very dim view of so-called hard drugs, like ice, cocaine and heroin, and these don't appear to be major issues.

I'm not suggesting the Netherlands is free of crime, mental ill health and heavy drug use.

But my experience indicates that liberal marijuana laws make it far more attractive to drug users than more dangerous drugs.

Maybe if we want to get truly serious about hard-core drugs, we need to reassess our views towards marijuana.

It's far more preferable to deal with the impact of it than that of drugs like ice.


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