Prohibition - Netflix

Prohibition is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

Prohibition - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 120 minutes

Premier: 2011-10-02

Prohibition - Prohibition of drugs - Netflix

The prohibition of drugs through sumptuary legislation or religious law is a common means of attempting to prevent the recreational use of certain harmful drugs and other intoxicating substances. While some drugs are illegal to possess, many governments regulate the manufacture, distribution, marketing, sale and use of certain drugs, for instance through a prescription system. For example, amphetamines may be legal to possess if a doctor has prescribed them; otherwise, possession or sale of the drug is typically a criminal offence. Only certain drugs are banned with a “blanket prohibition” against all possession or use (e.g., LSD, a psychedelic that was once used medicinally). The most widely banned substances include psychoactive drugs, although blanket prohibition also extends to some steroids and other drugs. Many governments do not criminalize the possession of a limited quantity of certain drugs for personal use, while still prohibiting their sale or manufacture, or possession in large quantities. Some laws set a specific volume of a particular drug, above which is considered ipso jure to be evidence of trafficking or sale of the drug. Drug prohibition is responsible for enriching “organised criminal networks”, according to some critics, while the hypothesis that the prohibition of drugs generates violence is consistent with research done over long time-series and cross-country facts. Some Islamic countries prohibit the use of alcohol (see list of countries with alcohol prohibition). Many governments levy a sin tax on alcohol and tobacco products, and restrict alcohol and tobacco from being sold or gifted to a minor. Other common restrictions include bans on outdoor drinking and indoor smoking. In the early 20th Century, many countries had alcohol prohibition. These include the United States (1920–1933), Finland (1919–1932), Norway (1916–1927), Canada (1901–1948), Iceland (1915–1922) and the Russian Empire/USSR (1914–1925).

Prohibition - The Netherlands - Netflix

In the Netherlands, cannabis and other “soft” drugs are partly decriminalised in small quantities. The Dutch government treats the problem as more of a public health issue than a criminal issue. Contrary to popular belief, cannabis is still illegal, mostly to satisfy the country's agreements with the United Nations. Coffee shops that sell cannabis to people 18 or above are tolerated in some cities, and pay taxes like any other business for their cannabis and hashish sales, although distribution is a grey area that the authorities would rather not go into as it is not decriminalised. Many “coffee shops” are found in Amsterdam and cater mainly to the large tourist trade; the local consumption rate is far lower than in the US. Netherlands has the highest antidrug related public expenditure per capita of all countries in EU (139 EUR per capita, 2004). Similarly to the rest of the European Union member states and American democracies, controlled drugs are illegal in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, illegal drugs are consumed worldwide, causing concern in the international community. According to the United Nations Drug Control Programme, results in the 2001 World Drug Report estimate “that the extent of drug abuse in the world involves about 180 million people, which represents 3% of the global population. The majority of drug users (80%) used cannabis, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants such as methamphetamine, amphetamine and substances of the ecstasy group (16%), cocaine (8%), heroin (5%) and other opiates (2%)”. The administrative bodies responsible for enforcing the drug policies include the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, and the Ministry of Finance. Local authorities also shape local policy, within the national framework. The prohibition policy is heavily influenced by the international community (through the United Nations), especially the neighboring states of France and Germany, which pressure the kingdom to be more strict, for they are directly affected through the illegal trafficking of narcotics coming from the Netherlands. Legally, possession, manufacturing, trafficking, importation and exportation are forbidden. Nonetheless, it is not an offense to use drugs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2003). There are different penalties involved when breaking the law, which may include a monetary fine, imprisonment, or both. To apply the law, the government differentiates between “soft” and “hard” drugs. Soft drugs are considered to produce less harm to both the individual and society, these being used mainly for folk medicine and recreational purposes. This category encompasses cannabis (nederwiet), hashish and some fungi. Hard drugs are considered to cause considerable personal harm through addiction and physical detriment, as well as nuisance to society, by increasing crime and deteriorating families. Cocaine, heroin, etc. belong to this category. Along with these two categories, there is a pyramid of priority when it comes to prosecution by law enforcement agencies. The handling and trade of hard drugs is on the zenith, being a joint target not only by the Netherlands, but also by the international community. This can be punished by maximum sentences of twelve years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to €45,000. The second priority is given to the production and trade of soft drugs. Deviation from the AHOJ-G criteria for coffee shops may result in up to four years of imprisonment and/or a fine of €45,000. The third priority focuses on hard drug users. Instead of labelling the users of hard drugs as “criminals”, the state aims to rehabilitate users and prevent others from becoming addicted. However, disturbance to society caused by the consumption of hard drugs can result in one year of prison and/or a €11,250 fine. Lastly, individuals possessing more than five grams for personal consumption, or disturbing the public, can go to prison for one month and/or be fined €2,250. There are varying rules within these categories, for example the amount possessed, the role played in the transaction and the intent of the goods. Regarding coffee shops, the line between law and practice thins. A coffee shop is a heavily controlled business establishment where individuals can purchase a personal dose of soft drugs in the form of joints, pastry, drinks and packages. In theory, these shops must abide by governmental and local regulations, as well as meet the AHOJ-G criteria, an acronym for: No Advertising, Hard drugs, Nuisance of any kind, Jongeren (minors under 18), and a limit of five grams per transaction. Additionally, the maximum stock at any time is five hundred grams. Local governments may impose additional rules, such as closing times, zoning (coffee shops may not be close to schools), and parking restrictions. The rationale behind coffee shops is to keep citizens away from the hard drugs scene, bringing them to a safe, social, and regulated environment. When analysing the Dutch model, both disadvantages and advantages can be drawn when comparing the results with other countries. On a moral argument, tolerating soft drugs can be seen as the defeat of the government against hedonism. Additionally, decades of growing and perfecting cannabis and hashish has resulted in increased levels of the main active hallucinogenic constituent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as levels have doubled, making the derived products more powerful, and therefore requiring less to achieve the desired effect. The coffee shop will lose its license if it caught selling to minors. Though there was a slight increase of use at the beginning, the rates balanced out some years later. The presence of coffee shops does not translate in public urge for experimentation. In fact, most people that did not consume drugs before the enhancement of the policy continue not to use them. When compared to other countries, Dutch drug consumption falls in the European average at six per cent regular use (twenty-one per cent at some point in life) and considerably lower than the Anglo-Saxon countries headed by the United States with an eight per cent recurring use (thirty-four at some point in life). Experts have come to the conclusion that the policies applied do not play a striking role in these statistics, though there is debate over this issue (CEDRO, 2004). While there has been talk for over a decade about preventing foreigners from entering Dutch cannabis coffeeshops by requiring customers to possess a 'weedpass', this legislation has not been enacted, so Dutch coffeeshops continue to sell cannabis openly to both locals and foreigners. However a small number of southern municipalities (including Roosendaal and Maastricht) in the Netherlands now require customers to carry identification proving that they are resident in the Netherlands.

Prohibition - References - Netflix