Comparing Permissive Illegality Frameworks in Denmark and the United States
Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 28, May 2021
12 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021 Last revised: 3 Mar 2022
Date Written: May 10, 2021
This paper compares the foundations of the Christiania commune in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the origins of the United States war on drugs, both phenomena of the anti-hippie sentiment of the 1970s. While the Danish took a relatively lax approach to the commune’s cannabis-related activities, in the U.S. crackdowns were widespread and disproportionately impacted people of color. Today, Christiania remains the focal point of the Danish cannabis trade, while the United States has become a patchwork of varying state-level permissive regimes fundamentally in conflict with federal prohibition. How both countries’ relationships with cannabis will continue to develop ultimately depends on the political will of those in power.
Keywords: Christiania, commune, Nixon, crackdown, 1970s
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