The name of the mysterious prosecutor had to remain secret. Last week he attended the conference on drug regulation at the National Police. As a journalist, I had received an invitation on the condition that I would not publish information about the other visitors. In any case, the officer’s presence is spicy in the cloud of publicity in recent weeks about the Dutch drug debate.
By @Wim van de Pol
Public reflection on drug policy in the Netherlands really seems to be germinating a bit.
Not only LEAP, an international club of police officers that wants to change drug policy, organized a conference. The mayor of Amsterdam did the same, and wrote a piece in the British The Guardian.
This week, NRC scrutinized the Minister of Justice’s drug policy, as did John van den Heuvel in De Telegraaf. And the Christian Union party leader got airplay (see below) for a national campaign against what she calls the ‘normalization’ of drug use. Today, D66 is advocating for the legalization of drugs.
On the positive side, the publicity shows that it finally seems to be widely understood that something is going on with drug policy.
Most beautiful feats
The most beautiful achievements were once again in the newspaper of the awake Netherlands. John van den Heuvel reprimanded a commissioner of the National Police. The man had warned against undermining democracy as a result of the fight against drugs.
But De Telegraaf also offered the chairman of LEAP half a page. The opinion of police scientist Pieter Tops was opposite.
Tops is the inventor (and operator) of the concept of “undermining”, a danger that the national government has been warning its citizens about for years, but no one appears to know exactly what it is.
What was striking about Tops’ argument was the great emphasis he placed on the need for a tough fight against drugs. He seems to be of the opinion that this fight has only really started since he started flooding the Netherlands about ten years ago (in collaboration with de Volkskrant) with the message that almost all of Amsterdam and every residential area in Brabant are being “undermined”, or at least case is as rotten as a medlar.
In the case of cocaine, tough action started even before Tops was born, as can be read here. This year marks the 79th anniversary of the war on cocaine, and world production is constantly growing. International experts are eagerly awaiting the game changer: the moment when the population of China will sniff a few tenths of a percent more per year.
The cocaine euros will spray through the atmosphere.
Death eaters and fallacies
Another positive aspect of the publicity in recent weeks is that the facts about the fight against drugs are once again in the spotlight.
Repression does not help, it actually causes extra fatalities, and the effectiveness of the many billions that the Netherlands has thrown at it is not at all measurable.
A negative aspect of the recent media fuss about drug policy is yet another brainwashing with fallacies and fallacies.
The scientist Pieter Tops came up with the most important one in De Telegraaf. Legalize cocaine?
The illegal market will not disappear. Those who are in favor of regulation take on the expensive obligation to vigorously combat crime.
This is where the old trick comes into play: put something into the mouths of proponents of regulation that they don’t say, and then attack that argument.
11 and 15 year olds
Simply legalizing is not the point under discussion.
The point is not to stop investigating international drug trafficking overnight. And certainly not to stop policies to prevent, as this week, 11- and 15-year-olds from becoming involved in planting explosives for drug traffickers.
Maybe some of those billions could go to help for underprivileged young people and to prevention?
Thinking about alternatives and possible regulation is on the table.
The gist is that something is going on, and that the Netherlands and Belgium are at serious risk.
Due to the war on cocaine, processes are underway that have previously shaken democracy in countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador.
Signals are red. The glamorous train driver Dilan Yesilgöz keeps hitting the gas on the lollipop on the high-speed train. Even harder, even more intensive, even more expensive, and even more privacy-restricting control. Yesilgöz is working hard, but she is not getting where she wants to be.
None of it ever helped, and the train is going to crash.
Even more serious corruption lurks, as does even more serious disruption of the lives of some of the Dutch youth, and perhaps even more sensitive violence than the murder of Peter R. de Vries
Unfortunately, scientific evidence is used by ‘virtually no one’ at the Ministry of Justice and Security research showed from the University of Twente on behalf of the department. According to those researchers, it is like this:
Political dynamics prevent the use of knowledge.
And so we roll on.
To throw sand in the eyes of the Netherlands by advocating ineffective PR campaigns such as those in Rotterdam, and against the ‘normalisation’ of drug use. It has been scientifically proven that these types of campaigns do not work.
Party leader of the @christenunie @mirjambikker advocates a national drug campaign. She criticizes Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, who wants to legalize drugs more. “You shouldn’t normalize drugs. Then you make it even easier for criminals.” #WNL pic.twitter.com/OVzpqlKTcC
— WNL Today (@WNLVandaag) February 7, 2024
The kind of naivete that these kinds of ideas come from is extremely dangerous. The fight against and the danger of the virus of global cocaine trafficking needs to be seriously considered.
The Netherlands is ready for an honest and broad discussion: what do we want with drugs?
In order to be able to talk about this – and to move forward – all nonsense and all the wishful thinking of the brave – so-called – fighters must first be filtered out.
The very prominent public prosecutor was one of the few members of the Public Prosecution Service present at the drug conference at the National Police. Wonder what he thinks about it.
Cracks in the police bastion of tough drug control
Naive Rotterdam campaign dangerous underestimation of cocaine trade (COLUMN)