Portugese Crowd Control
June 10, 2004 9:28 PM   Subscribe

"Alcohol makes fans fight. But cannabis smokers will be shaking hands and singing along together.” Confronted with the dangers of English soccer hooligans, Portugese police have found an incredibly pragmatic way to reduce crowd violence: crack down on booze and encourage the fans to smoke out. It's not some crazy new-fangled idea - it's been used successfully in the Netherlands. How does this reflect on US drug policy? More importantly, how does it reflect on the state of English soccer hooliganism?
posted by rks404 (16 comments total)
It's a good night to be a dustbin in Shaftesbury.
posted by jbrjake at 9:47 PM on June 10, 2004

I'd like to see this used in crowd control, maybe to control screaming fans at rock conc...

posted by namespan at 9:51 PM on June 10, 2004

I've heard smoking herb makes watching even the most boring things entertaining, so it should do wonders for viewership of soccer.
posted by ChasFile at 9:55 PM on June 10, 2004

I've heard smoking herb makes watching even the most boring things entertaining

Whether or not it explains the popularity of football/soccer it would certainly seem to explain the West Indian attitude to cricket.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:08 PM on June 10, 2004

I'm sure the food vendors at the game don't mind.
posted by cohappy at 10:51 PM on June 10, 2004

Footy, footy, footy...
posted by homunculus at 11:07 PM on June 10, 2004

Migs Migs Migs!

We want Migs!

Migs Migs Migs!
posted by mwhybark at 11:19 PM on June 10, 2004

How do they know that the fans haven't always been "smoking" at the games?
posted by Orb at 11:42 PM on June 10, 2004

Reminds me of the minor furore after NYE 2000, when a senior police officer down on Bondi Beach (Sydney) commented on how much better behaved crowds were when ecstacy rather than alcohol was the drug of choice.

"The big topic of conversation among the officers on the night was how the widespread use of ecstasy has really calmed things down. It has changed the whole scene."
posted by bright cold day at 12:06 AM on June 11, 2004

You got any room left in that country of yours, Migs? Food, wine, beautiful Portugese women, herb...you guys just seem to have your priorities straight.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:00 AM on June 11, 2004

Reminds me of this song.
posted by reklaw at 2:16 AM on June 11, 2004

homunculus - I cried. Thank you for that joy.
posted by jopreacher at 2:43 AM on June 11, 2004

somewhere in washington: "Welcome to the axis of evil, Portugal!"
posted by bargle at 5:01 AM on June 11, 2004

Question is, why should one either smoke or drink like it's mandatory to do something else stupid while watching somebody else getting paid and having fun ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:08 AM on June 11, 2004

"Dutch police used a similar policy in Euro 2000 and England’s hooligan element were too stoned to fight."

Well, it didn't work that well, and Holland and its admirably relaxed drug laws haven't done anything to stop the fact that they have a very serious hooligan problem of their own.

Still, remembering the harmony on the terraces when E arrived I can only applaud the Portugese approach.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:19 AM on June 11, 2004

It'll never work. Who gives a shit about football (either flavor--or indeed about any kind of pro sports) when you're stoned? The leagues won't stand for a solution that solves the riots by means of empty stadia full of the absence of former fans. At least the hooligans bought tickets and generated press.
posted by jfuller at 6:00 PM on June 11, 2004

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