By Bruce Mirken
For years prohibitionists, including our own Drug Enforcement Administration, have claimed — falsely — that the tolerant marijuana policies of the Netherlands have made that nation a nest of crime and drug abuse. They may have trouble wrapping their little brains around this:
The Dutch government is getting ready to close eight prisons because they don’t have enough criminals to fill them. Officials attribute the shortage of prisoners to a declining crime rate.
Just for fun, let’s compare the Netherlands to California. With a population of 16.6 million, the Dutch prison population is about 12,000. With its population of 36.7 million, California should have a bit more than double the Dutch prison population. California’s actual prison population is 171,000.
So, whose drug policies are keeping the streets safer?