Expatica news

Belgian drug laws ‘not working’

1 June 2004

BRUSELS – A Belgian law decriminalising the use of cannabis, which was introduced a year ago, is proving impossible to enforce, it was reported on Monday.

Belgian newspaper Le Soir cited an internal report by the country’s leading prosecuting magistrates, which says the new legislation is too confusing to be applied. 

According the Le Soir, the prosecutors say the law has been poorly drafted and contains too many apparently contradictory clauses on how cannabis users should be treated.

The idea of the legislation was to decriminalise cannabis use for personal consumption but to continue to prosecute people found dealing in large quantities of the drug.

Analysts say one of the key problems for law enforcement officers working on the ground is that it is often very hard to differentiate between these two groups of cannabis users.

According to the prosecutors, the law in its current form does not give the police clear guidelines on how to deal with people found in possession of the drug.

Le Soir also reported that Belgian Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has promised to update the legislation later this year, probably in September.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news