The Netherlands have a particular place in drug history. As the first country European-wide to legalize and regulate cannabis, they are seen as a guiding country on how drugs should be dealt with. When Portugal introduced similar laws in 2013, they took Holland as an example, as did Canada to write their own regional laws.
But what Holland, the epiphany of European liberalism, tends to forget, is that other countries in the EU are not as broadminded on this subject as they are.
A new program, sponsored by television station VARA, is called ‘Drugslab’ and features presenters Nellie Benner (30 years old), Rens Polman (25 years old), and Bastiaan Rosman (23 years old).
The youngsters have grown up in a country where you can buy ‘poppers’ (sniffing substances), marijuana and ‘magic mushrooms’ on every street corner or coffee shop, and so pitched their idea for a TV show where they would be trying all kinds of drugs to the VARA board, who accepted in order to attract youtube viewers.
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Their programs regularly hit millions of viewers across the EU, mostly in the UK, but of course those governments are not as thrilled to see the usage of cocaine, speed, LSD, and marijuana be promoted on screen.
Given the recent criticism, the presenters claimed that the show was 'not to encourage people to take drugs'.
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However, this could be disputed, for example the day after Ms Benner snorted cocaine, she posted a video describing the after-effects.
'I slept really well. I don't feel weird or depressed. It may give you more confidence, but you should get that out from yourself, not a drug.'
Now you could argue that they always finish by saying that viewers should not try this themselves, but from looking at the YouTube comment section, it is clear why it is being watched. One viewer wrote: 'It's like a kids' show that tells you how to take cocaine. Odd.'