Despite what a lot of people think, distribution and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands. Does that mean that no one sells it in the Netherlands? Of course not. There are numerous places where marijuana is bought and sold everyday. However, it’s still illegal. But it looks like the winds of marijuana reform are starting to pick up in the Netherlands.
Frits Bolkestein, a retired Dutch politician of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, is pushing for new laws that would license and regulate marijuana cultivation and distribution. According to Leaf Science:
Bolkestein is a member of the Epicurus Foundation, which is leading the push for more effective cannabis policies. 21 municipalities are now in support of having the government regulate cannabis cultivation, which Bolkestein says is “much more” than before.
Bolkestein’s proposal involves the government granting licenses to cannabis growers, which would allow the quality of product to be monitored and legal transactions to be made. He also believes shops that sell cannabis should be given more resources and better training for their employees.
The economics surrounding marijuana in the Netherlands is significant. My uncle and my best friend’s brother traveled there a handful of times in the 90’s and 2000’s and talk fondly of their experiences as a ‘marijuana tourist’. My uncle liked the marijuana in Amsterdam so much that he actually cashed in his plane tickets to other parts of Europe so that he could stay in the Netherlands and buy more cannabis. Hopefully the powers that be across the Atlantic reform their laws sooner than later so that everyone can purchase marijuana legally and safely.