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Drug smuggler nationNarcotics and the Netherlands, 1920-1995$
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Stephen Snelders

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781526151391

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526151407

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The floodgates of criminal anarchy: Synthetic drugs and subverting the state

The floodgates of criminal anarchy: Synthetic drugs and subverting the state

(p.215) 8 The floodgates of criminal anarchy: Synthetic drugs and subverting the state
Drug smuggler nation

Stephen Snelders

Manchester University Press

The regulation of amphetamines, starting in 1968 and resulting in their prohibition under the revised Opium Act of 1976 led to the development of an underground production. In the 1990s this underground chemistry expanded. It supplied Europe with a large part of its illegal synthetic drugs. The geographical position of the Netherlands, its logistical infrastructure and excellent transport routes by car or ferry into the rest of Europe all contributed to the rise of this export industry. So too did the presence of a chemical industry that supplied the underground with the necessary raw materials and precursor chemicals. Different cultures came together in the constitution of underground chemistry and trade. Idealists convinced they could create a better world by a better chemistry set up an illegal LSD production and trade that was embedded in the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s and remained rather apart from amphetamine and XTC production. Idealists were also involved in establishing the first production lines of MDMA and related compounds. When regulation made markets illegal while demand soared, criminal entrepreneurs noticed and took their chances and came to dominate the supply side. Criminal entrepreneurs connected to the smuggling cultures of the south of the Netherlands, as well as from the cities in other parts of the country, and later outlaw motorcycle gangs moved in on the amphetamine and XTC production and trade, sometimes in alliance with idealists.

Keywords:   amphetamines, LSD, MDMA, XTC, underground chemistry, smuggling cultures, subversion, south of the Netherlands, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Opium Act

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