High time: Netherlands moves to clean up absurd cannabis policy

For 40 years ‘schizophrenic’ approach benefited violent gangs. Not for much longer
Irish Times (Ireland)
Thursday, February 6, 2020

If there’s one contradiction that goes to the heart of why Dutch drugs policy has lost its way, it’s this: that while it’s legal for “coffee shops” to sell cannabis for personal consumption, growing the cannabis they sell is illegal and subject to stiff penalties that have forced production underground. The result of this wholly irrational arrangement has been to undermine pretty much every significant policy initiative since 1972, when a Labour-led coalition government took the innovative step of focusing public resources predominantly on hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine. There are now moves at government level to find a more sensible way to supply cannabis to coffee shops without subsidising criminality. The Rutte government has set up a four-year pilot scheme in 10 cities.