Appendix I: Order establishing the Advisory Committee on Drugs Policy
The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs, acting in accordance with the views of the cabinet;
Having regard to section 6, subsection 1 of the Advisory Bodies Framework Act;
Order as follows:
An Advisory Committee on Drugs Policy (hereinafter referred to as ‘the committee’) is hereby established.
It is the task of the committee, with due regard to the evaluation to be performed by the Trimbos Institute and the Research and Documentation Centre, to advise the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs as to whether all or part of the Netherlands’ policy on drugs must be reviewed and, on the basis of the understanding it has gained, to make recommendations to the Dutch government, in the form of scenarios, for a drugs policy that is futureproof from a broad social, national and international perspective.
The committee consists of the following members:
Professor W.B.H.J. van de Donk, chairman of the Advisory Council on Government Policy (and chairman of the committee)
P. Boekhoud, chairman of the Executive Board, Albeda College, Rotterdam;
Professor W. van den Brink, Professor of Addiction Care, University Medical Centre, Universiteit Amsterdam;
Professor C. Fijnaut, Professor of Comparative Law, University of Tilburg;
Mrs S.J.E. Horstink von Meyenfeldt, State Councillor Extraordinary;
Professor D. van de Mheen, Professor of Addiction Care, Erasmus MC Rotterdam;
Professor H.G.M. Rigter, professor emeritus; senior researcher at the Department of Community Health Care, Erasmus MC Rotterdam;
Mrs A. van VlietKuiper (Mayor of Amersfoort)
The committee will issue its recommendations to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs before 15 June 2009.
The committee will be disbanded one month after it has issued its recommendations.
The committee’s archived records will be transferred to the archives of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, with a copy to the administrators of the archives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs, after the committee is disbanded, or sooner if circumstances warrant it.
This order will take effect on the second day after the date of the Staatscourant (‘Government Gazette’) in which it is published, with retroactive effect to 26 January 2009.
The order will cease to apply as of 1 October 2009.
This order may be cited as: Order Establishing the Advisory Committee on Drugs Policy.
This order and the explanatory notes pertaining to it will be published in the Staatscourant.
A. Klink, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
E.H.M. Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice Ms G. ter Horst, Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs
Explanatory notes On 6 March 2008 the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs undertook to present to the House of Representatives a new, integrated policy document on drugs. They also undertook to evaluate drugs policy before doing so. The Ministers subsequently decided, in consultation, to request advice on the future of drugs policy from an independent body in the period between the completion of the evaluation and the publication of the new, integrated policy document. They initially planned to ask the Advisory Council on Government Policy for advice. However, the Council requires approximately a year to produce an advisory report of this kind. Given the desire of the House of Representatives to accelerate the publication of the policy document, this would have been too long. The Ministers therefore decided, in consultation, to ask a specially established committee to issue recommendations in the period specified above.
The purpose of this order is to establish the Advisory Committee on Drugs Policy – referred to below as ‘the committee’. The committee has the task of advising the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs as to whether a review of all or part of Dutch drugs policy would be appropriate, partly in view of the international context and international agreements. On the basis of its understanding of the issue, it will make recommendations, in the form of scenarios, for a futureproof Dutch drugs policy. The committee will examine the drugs issue from a broad social, national and international perspective. It will consider drugs policy not only in terms of public safety and health but also, and more especially, from the social perspective, including the impact of drugs on young people’s educational performance, on families and on the course of people’s lives. The committee will base its conclusions on the report of the evaluation of drugs policy that is due to be completed in spring 2009.
More specifically, the committee has been asked to consider the following questions when setting out its recommendations. 1) Is there reason to reconsider the listing of certain drugs in Schedules I and II of the Opium Act? 2) Can improvements be made in terms of addiction care, prevention and harm reduction? 3) What is needed to reduce the Netherlands’ role in the production and transit of ecstasy/cannabis and the distribution of cocaine? 4) What specific public nuisance is caused by the production, trading and use of drugs, and how can this be effectively reduced? 5) What are the future prospects for coffee shop policy, partly in view of the European and wider international context? The committee is requested to consider the cannabis risk analysis performed by the Coordination Centre for Assessment and Monitoring of New Drugs (CAM) and the study of the relative harmfulness of different types of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, performed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in making its recommendations concerning the drugs listed in Schedules I and II of the Opium Act.
The committee is requested to consider the report by Fijnaut and De Ruyver entitled Voor een gezamenlijke beheersing van de drugsgerelateerde criminaliteit in de Euregio MaasRijn and the debate that has been ongoing in the Netherlands for some time now, and includes calls on the one hand for the eventual full abolition of coffee shops, and for regulation of the supply of cannabis to coffee shops on the other, in making its recommendations concerning coffee shop policy. The committee’s report should include an ex ante analysis of both options, which are more radical than current policy.
To gain the necessary understanding and to test its recommendations, the committee is authorised to gather information and consult with the Public Prosecution Service, the police, institutions offering addiction care and other experts. It may also, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs, dispose of a budget to commission the research needed for it to produce a good, balanced report.
The committee is requested to produce its report by 15 June 2009, and will be disbanded a month after it is published. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, the report cannot be produced within the designated period, the term of the committee may be extended once, for a period of two months, from 15 July 2009.