Intended for healthcare professionals


European Union divided over drugs policy

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 16 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:660

The Netherlands' relatively liberal policy towards drugs is currently threatening one of the European Union's most cherished aims: the abolition of border controls in the single market. The country is embroiled in a row with her closest neighbours—France, Germany, and Belgium—about its tolerant approach to soft drugs. Paris, increasingly supported by Bonn, argues that since the abolition of frontier controls between seven of the 15 EU countries a year ago the Netherlands has become a source of supply for neighbouring countries. France has restored its border controls and refuses to remove them until the Dutch tighten their approach. The Dutch deny the allegations and argue that their policies have yielded better overall results than the …

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