February 6th 2014
35 Dutch Mayors have signed a manifesto demanding that cannabis production be made legal so that criminal gangs can be removed from the Dutch cannabis scene. The Mayors of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam have all signed the manifesto. At the moment the famous Dutch coffeeshops are allowed to sell cannabis, yet there is still no legal system for them to buy it. This has gifted criminal gangs a lucrative, tax-free, business which the Mayors want to end. Although there is resistance from Dutch minister Ivo Opstelten, most Dutch people think the time has come to end the strange legal position for cannabis in Holland.
International opinion is now shifting in favour of shifting towards a system of regulation, taxation and legalization - as shown by the events in Uruguay, Colorado and Washington. The difficulty for the Dutch Government is that opposing the manifesto makes them appear to be on the side of organised crime. It will be fascinating to see how the situation evolves in the coming months. The full story is below