Political momentum to legalise and reform cannabis laws gathers pace around the world. North America and South America are pushing forward faster than many parts of Europe at the moment, but European political thinking is showing signs of catching up.
Although not widely reported in the mainstream media, the Dutch Government (Department of Security and Justice) has just published a significant report, researched by the RAND Drug Policy Research Centre. The full PDF, in English, can be downloaded here.
The report was commissioned by the Dutch Government who wanted an impartial review of the recent groundbreaking decisions to legalize cannabis in Uruguay as well as the ongoing state-wide legalizations in USA, and the ‘cannabis social clubs’ in Spain and Belgium.
Although the Dutch Government has been widely applauded for their regulation of cannabis (coffee shops etc) over the last few decades, there is a growing political appetite amongst Dutch politicians to further remove all aspects of criminality from the cannabis industry. For example, in a Dutch Coffee Shop, the sale of cannabis is regulated but the original production of the cannabis still remains illegal and is often in criminal hands. Further refinement of Dutch cannabis laws could allow a fully legalized and taxed cannabis supply chain which would exclude all elements of criminality, a system which would follow the USA and Uruguay legalization models.
The RAND report paints an attractive picture of how such pot-law improvements benefit society, the health and well being of its citizens and stimulate the local economy. The report also notes how the only losers would be the organised criminals who have been gifted the tax-free cannabis revenues by successive Governments who have chosen not to regulate the cannabis supply chain in the belief that they could persuade people not to use cannabis. Cannabis use remains at, or near, an all-time high with citizens of all countries recognising that
a) Cannabis has significant medical uses, many of which are only being brought to public attention following many years of international ‘denial’ of the medical value of cannabis.
b) Cannabis is not anywhere near as dangerous as it has been made out to be during the time of its prohibition. When used appropriately by responsible adults cannabis is far safer than alcohol or tobacco.
Read the full story at dutch-passion.nl