Cops and dogs against party drugs

Ton Nabben


In the Netherlands, a significant shift in policy with regard to drug users can be observed. Originally, ecstasy was predominantly defined as a ‘pleasure pill’, whereas today, Dutch policy makers increasingly associate the substance with health problems. The police are present at festivals and dance parties, bouncers are instructed to (body-)search all visitors, and police dogs are used at the venue to detect drugs. Theoretically framed by a critical discussion of the historical and theoretical roots of zero-tolerance, this article uses qualitative and quantitative data to answer three questions, relating to the national level and more specifically to Amsterdam. What is the effect of this new zero tolerance policy in practice? How have drug users and drug dealers reacted to the repressive measures, which sometimes include drug detection dogs? What developments have occurred in the drug trade and in the use of recreational substances?

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 1970 Ton Nabben

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Amsterdam Law Forum - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.