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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Legislative Options for Cannabis - Australian Government

Chapter 4.


Option 1: Total prohibition

Under the system of total prohibition the use, possession, cultivation, importation, sale and distribution of any amount of cannabis are treated as criminal offences. People importing or dealing in cannabis may be liable to severe sanctions, and those using or found in possession of the drug are subject to arrest and prosecution. If convicted, they acquire a criminal record and may be subject to a variety of sanctions including imprisonment.

'Total prohibition' can take a number of forms. For example, although both The Netherlands and the United States have legislation that can be described as total prohibition, the differences in the strategies used to enforce, or not enforce, the legislation mean that the drug policies in these two nations are dramatically different. This section will outline the background and rationale of American and Dutch drug policies, and will evaluate them in light of the goals outlined in [2]Chapter 2.

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