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ERIC Number: EJ764610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0968-7637
"Mr Police Officer, I Thought Cannabis Was Legal"--Introducing New Policy regarding Cannabis in Belgium: A Story of Good Intentions and Babel
Gelders, Dave; Laenen, Freya Vander
Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, v14 n2 p103-116 Apr 2007
Over the last five years, the announced new policy on drugs, cannabis in particular, has been the subject of much debate within the Belgian Federal Government and between the government and the opposition parties. Unclear policies and poor public communication from the Federal Government, the competent minister and the other parties caused immense confusion about whether and when the possession of cannabis would be legal and what the criteria would be for prosecution when found possessing cannabis. This confusion has been illustrated by a survey by Gelders and Van Mierlo (2004) Legalized or not? Poor public communication causes confusion over the new cannabis policy in Belgium. "Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy", 2, 167-177. Aims: (1) to present the most relevant policy developments specifically from the last two years, and (2) to determine whether there is still confusion and to assess the knowledge of young people about current prosecution practices. Methods: (1) an analysis of policy documents and legal texts, and (2) a more up-to-date survey among 748 Belgian youngsters. Findings: only 35.1% answered the basic-knowledge questions correctly while 59.2% assessed the prosecution practice in an appropriate manner. Conclusion: there is still a lot of confusion regarding the current cannabis legislation and prosecution. (Contains 5 tables and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium