Netherlands and Portugal: young people want to keep pot illegal

Pro-legalisers often quote the so-called models of Portugal and the Netherlands – but more people in these countries want cannabis to be illegal.

In 2011, 52% of portuguese aged 15-24 years old argued that cannabis should remain illegal – that figure is now 66%. In the Netherlands the figures also rose by 14%. The direction is contrary to european countries whose policies have not experimented with it, where 53% of young europeans want to keep cannabis illegal, a fall of 6% from 2011.

Original story by Leonor Paiva Watson, with Anthony Soares in Jornal de Noticias 26 August 2014

Translation below.

The Portuguese trend “is surprising,” said Manuel Cardoso, deputy director general of the Department of Intervention in Sicad (Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies).  “But his reflects the work done to sensitise for youth risk behaviours.”

He recalls that SICAD recently undertook a study addressing on new psychoactive substances, verifying also that “most young people, even those that drank, did not agree with its legalisation… Consumption (in small quantities) is not a crime, but marketing is prohibited. People know that can hurt.”

Alongside Portugal are countries like the Netherlands (14% more than 2011), Belgium (plus 13%), Latvia (8%) and France (6% more than in 2011).

Elsewhere in Europe, even in countries where the overwhelming majority do not want legalisation, the tendency is for fewer young people to think so. In Cyprus, for example, 72% of young people do not want the legalisation of cannabis, but that is 10% less than 2011. In Italy, for example, the figures are down 22%, Germany 14-17%, Austria and Slovenia least 13%. In the Netherlands (53%), Austria (53%), Slovakia (54%), Poland (55%), Ireland (57%), Italy (60%), Slovenia (64%) and Republic Czech (73%), most people want legalisation. It is noteworthy is that, although the Netherlands generally is perceived as wanting legalisation of cannabis, there is a 14% increase in those who defend the substance remaining illegal.

Source:   27th August 2014

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