Hard and soft drugs
Hard and soft drugs are terms to distinguish between psychoactive drugs that are addictive and perceived as especially damaging and drugs that are believed to be non-addictive (or minimally addictive) and with fewer dangers associated with their use. The term "hard drug" is considered controversial by its critics because it implies that all the "hard" drugs cause severe harm.
The distinction between soft drugs and hard drugs is important in the drug policy of the Netherlands, where cannabis production, retailing and use come under official tolerance, subject to certain conditions. The Dutch Opium Law have two lists of drugs, List I and List II, that are colloquially considered to be lists of hard and soft drugs, respectively. Other countries typically have more than two categories. For example, the US has five "schedules" in the Controlled Substances Act, ranging from one through five. The UK has three "classes" in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: A, B and C.
See also 
- Nutt, D.; King, L. A.; Saulsbury, W.; Blakemore, C. (2007). "Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". The Lancet 369 (9566): 1047–1053. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60464-4. PMID 17382831.
- Thomas Nordegren (2002). The A-Z Encyclopedia of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Parkland, Fla.: Brown Walker Press. p. 327. ISBN 1-58112-404-X.
- Thomas Nordegren (2002). The A-Z Encyclopedia of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Parkland, Fla.: Brown Walker Press. p. 597. ISBN 1-58112-404-X.