Europe Chills Out
Not all countries conform to the Single Convention’s “schedules,” and some now have today adopted very tolerant enforcement policies—although (contrary to popular belief) cannabis is technically illegal even in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cannabis is a Schedule 2 drug and opiates are Schedule 1, in a reversal of the UN (and US) policy. Under the “Dutch model,” cannabis is decriminalized, and the fines that are technically on the books for possession are generally not enforced. Other European countries that have decriminalized include Spain, Italy and Belgium—although the enforcement policy in these countries is nowhere near as liberal as in the Netherlands. Italy especially has been cracking down in recent years.