Dutch Government Commission Brave New Report On Cannabis Legality

prohibition has failed

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. 

Dutch Passion AutoXtreme

Above, Dutch Passion AutoXtreme , by Tang

 

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.

The full report is 60 pages long, but will be of special interest to any European activists looking for an insight into current political thinking and the advice on which they are basing their thinking.  The RAND report will be reviewed by other European Governments as well as the Dutch.  Of particular interest is the authoritative detailed discussion of the legal positions (and how they evolved) in USA, Uruguay, Belgium and Spain. 

Blue AutoMazar grown by Hazy

Above, Dutch Passion Blue AutoMazar by Hazy

 

One theme running through the report is that many nations are now over-riding the international agreements made through the United Nations, even though such agreements were originally intended to be binding and non-negotiable.  However, there have been no repercussions for either Uruguay or USA since they decided to take matters into their own democratic systems and legalize cannabis.  This has set a clear precedent for other countries to adapt their own laws.  It has also caused many to ask whether the 1988 United Nations ‘Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs’ has any remaining credibility or relevance, given that it is now being routinely ignored.  The graph, below, shows how USA public opinion has shifted from a point where 84% of citizens opposed recreational cannabis in 1969.  Today just 39% oppose recreational cannabis, the trend towards accepting cannabis is felt to be entirely due to the general public firmly rejecting the biased anti-cannabis government rhetoric.  Furthermore, the support for legal cannabis continues to accelerate as people see that there are no negative consequences to the legalization of cannabis in states where it has already taken place.

 

graph showing massive increase in USA public support for legalizing cannabis

 

One interesting quote from the International Narcotics Control Board: “non-compliance by any party with the provisions of the international drug control treaties could have far-reaching negative consequences for the functioning of the entire international drug control system” (International Narcotics Control Board, 2013, p. 36).  That is exactly what has happened when Uruguay, Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis.  The United Nations has been unable to act or respond as recent events have unfolded in Uruguay, USA, Spain, Belgium and elsewhere.

 cannabis oil

 Above, Cannabis oil with a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, a valuable multi-purpose medicine

 

 

Conclusions.  It was a brave step for the Dutch Government to commission such a report in the first place.  Many Governments have avoided the issue of cannabis and left it for someone else to deal with.  The RAND group do their best to remain impartial and unbiased throughout the report, but it is clear that the report offers no significant reasons why cannabis should remain prohibited.  Nor does the report show any findings that prohibition of cannabis has ever reduced consumption.  The report certainly does recognise the emerging international consensus that cannabis has important medical qualities that are being recognised and commercially exploited.  Perhaps the saddest part of the report is the amount of time dedicated to the legal arguments about how countries such as USA & Uruguay have successfully flouted internationally agreed UN drug treaties.  Clearly there is no easy way out of this for the UN, and it is likely that the UN official cannabis policy will have to change and the easiest and least painful way for them to do this is by recognising that their original policy was wrong. 

Dutch Passion Think Different

Above, Dutch Passion Think Different by BamBud

 

If the biggest concern of European politicians are the obligations to outdated United Nation agreements then the prohibition of cannabis does not have long left.  Dutch Passion believes that cannabis consumption is the right of any responsible adult, whether for medical or recreational reasons.  We welcome the political debate and wonder what 2014 has in store for cannabis campaigners in Europe and the rest of the world.  2013 saw remarkable progress for cannabis laws and that momentum will continue this year.  Cannabis prohibition is coming to an end, that’s something to celebrate.

 

January 17th 2014

Recent comments (7)

On 17-01-2014 at 13:11u Peter Reynolds wrote:
Thank you for publishing this important report. The winds of change are blowing across the world and those responsible for the lies, prejudice and outright hatred of cannabis users are being exposed for the charlatans and abusers that they are.
 

On 17-01-2014 at 15:58u Tammy Ratliff wrote:
This is amazing , it is our rights that are being taken away from us.... do you know at what price our rights were given to us ???? So come on every body must stand UNITED !!!! XOXOX. :)
 

On 18-01-2014 at 11:06u Malcolm Kyle wrote:
We are actually experiencing a de facto civl war between the majority (those who embrace reason and function in the real world of cause and effect) and the prohibitionists, who, numbed by their isolation and despair, are seeking meaning in a mythical world that can never, ever, be reality-based. A world of deceit and lies, of blood and corpses—a world of complete social and economic collapse.
 

On 18-01-2014 at 14:15u Tamra shelly wrote:
I think if its used responsibly I see no reason to vote it out.i live in Arkansas and I don't ever see it being able to smoke it here legally ..but too bad for them I'm moving back to California....
 

On 18-01-2014 at 20:47u Blitzen Maniax wrote:
I do not smoke it myself but no government should have the right to tell me what I can or cannot put in my body. Lets hope that cannabis is the thin end of the wedge and now that the US who basically forced the UN to bring in the Psychotropic Substances Act which blank cheques almost everything. I would like to see LSD legalized along with MDMA which was actually banned in the US on a sample of methamphetamine yet the US military were happy to inject a serving soldier with a half gram of MDA intravenously . I bet he died with a great big smile on his face. Its time to tell the truth about drugs. ALL drugs. Freedom.
 

On 20-01-2014 at 17:58u Mark wrote:
fluoride is legal ..aspartame is legal .. kemo therapy is legal ..too bad we couldn't get monsanto to grow some weed then it would not only legal but mandatory
 

On 28-08-2014 at 01:33u Mark Eckermann wrote:
Don't let Monsanto anywhere near it!
 




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