New European Report: Regulated Marijuana Sales in the Netherlands Have Little Effect on Use Rates

Jun 26, 2008

decriminalization, law enforcement

A new report from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction has a fascinating chapter on regulated marijuana sales through "coffee shops" in the Netherlands. The bottom line: Despite tall tales spun by U.S. drug warriors, the Dutch system appears to have had little effect on rates of marijuana use. Dutch use rates have shown the same "wave-like" up-and-down trends as in other European countries and the U.S., which pursue prohibitionist policies. "This leads to the conclusion" the report argues, "that regulating the cannabis market through law enforcement has only a marginal, if any, effect on the level of cannabis consumption."