Dutch ministers propose ban on designer drugs and their raw materials
Lawmakers in the Netherlands have prepared a bill to make designer drugs and the materials used in them, illegal.
Legislative proposal tackles designer drugs
The Dutch Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus (CDA), and Paul Blokhuis (CU), State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sports have drawn up a bill that will prohibit the production of designer drugs and the raw materials used to make them.
By making the raw materials used in designer drugs illegal, a whole group of designer drugs can be banned in one go, regardless of their composition. The law will help tackle the production and distribution of these kinds of drugs, allowing the police to better tackle drug-related crimes. Grapperhaus echoed this sentiment, saying, “Behind designer drugs, there is a tough world in which people are intimidated and threatened. This change in the law helps in tackling this type of crime.”
What are designer drugs?
Designer drugs are variants of other drugs, such as ecstasy or cocaine, that are designed to mimic the effects of the original drug. Producers and dealers circumvent existing drug legislation by using slightly different raw materials in the production of designer drugs.
Examples of designer drugs include variations of ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine. Designer drugs are usually considered a big health risk as they are rarely trialled properly and can produce some unexpected side-effects. They have long been a conundrum for lawmakers, as Blokhuis explained last year, “The market was always too fast for us. As soon as we had put one on the list of banned substances, the composition was slightly changed, and it was no longer illegal.”
These kinds of drugs have long been prohibited in Germany and Belgium, where the ministers insist the ban works well. According to Grapperhaus, the change in the law will also allow the Netherlands to act internationally and better meet requests for legal assistance from other countries.