Pubdate: Wed, 22 Aug 2001
Issue: August 22-28, 2001
Source: Rock River Times (IL)
Copyright: The Rock River Times 2001
Author:  Alan Reiner


Dear Editor:

I am writing concerning the August 8 article,  "World War."  I wanted to 
supplement Mr. Simon's reference to the Dutch drug policy by providing some 
statistics on their country's drug status. The Netherlands has safe 
injecting rooms for heroin addicts, and marijuana has been sold in hundreds 
of coffee shops for almost 30 years. Where has it gotten them? (Sidenote: 
This data comes directly from the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics; 
it cannot be debated)

Percent of High School Seniors Who Used Marijuana in Past 30 Days: U.S . - 
23%; Netherlands 18.1%

Percent of People Who Have Ever Used Marijuana U.S.: - 38%; Netherlands - 30%

Number of Heroin Addicts per 100,000 People: U.S. 430; Netherlands 160

Murder Rate per 100,000 People: U.S. 8.2; Netherlands 1.2

Don't believe me? Check for yourself; those statistics are cited on 
Netherlands Embassy website  at: ( is the main page).

I'd say their policy is doing pretty well. Whether or not the statistics 
directly reflect the effects of softer drug laws, what we do know is that 
their policy is not the "disaster" that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) 
website claims it is.

Know the facts; the U.S. will never change their policy unless the 
population is educated on the subject.

Alan Reiner
Arlington, Va.
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