Despite its reputation as a marijuana paradise, The Netherlands actually doesn't have completely legal cannabis at the moment. But that soon could change.
The Netherlands is considering legalizing marijuana production recreationally. This may come as a surprise to many people who view the country as a marijuana destination. But under current law, licensed coffee shops are simply allowed to sell small amounts of recreational cannabis. However, production of the drug is still illegal. This obviously creates a tricky situation. Coffee shops may be allowed to sell the drug legally, but they are forced to purchase their supply illegally on the black market. But this new law would help fix this dilemma.
The new rules will also help law enforcement. Every year, police in the country raid hundreds of illegal marijuana grows. There are also reports of organized crime growing in The Netherlands who make money growing marijuana to supply to coffee shops. But allowing legal production of the drug would help neuter these organizations and make it a safer market.
Some worry that allowing licensed growers would push out smaller producers in the country. But there are also increased costs associated with dealing with the black market, so losing some small-time growers may simply be the cost of doing business.
(h/t New York Times)