Now that we have existed for over 25 years, things are becoming clearer to us. Together with loads of different NGO’s, drug users, non-drug users and commercial partners, we are arriving at much clearer guidelines for organizing a healthy drug policy. We do not say “drugs are good” nor “drugs are bad “, but we do clearly say: current international drug policy is bad.
People Should Be educated not Criminalized. We have had many discussions with people who try to convince us that drugs are already legal in the Netherlands.
Dear tourists, We want to clarify the legal status of drug use in our country. It is legal for individuals to use drugs, but it is illegal to buy or sell them. Unfortunately, this situation has given rise to a black market, which ultimately harms society. We acknowledge that the current drug policies are ineffective, and we are committed to advocate to take control over all drugs. Our organization and our think-tank have identified several solutions that we believe are crucial:
1. Removing drugs from the penal system is fundamental for a more effective drugs policy. We cannot base our policies on criminalizing drug use.
2. Separating cannabis from other drugs, as practiced in Dutch coffee shops, has proven to be a successful approach. Each substance has it’s own place in the spectrum.
3. Addressing the Dutch ‘backdoor problem’ by regulating the growth and testing of crops is essential. Users have the right to know the quality and safety of the products they use.
4. Drug policy should be centered around providing accurate drug information and promoting harm reduction.
5. Prioritizing drug information based on facts is more important than relying on outdated fears and prohibitions.
6. Taxing and regulating small and large quantities of drugs can be a useful approach. It should be legal to produce and grow for personal use and for the legal market.
7. Industrial hemp can play a significant role in protecting our planet from pollution.
8. We propose establishing a multidisciplinary university undergraduate program focusing on all psychotropic substances. This program would cover a wide range of subjects, including criminology, sociology, neurology, economics, pharmacology, and history related to drugs.
9. Ravers should be able to obtain ecstasy with proper prescriptions to ensure their safety.
10. Instead of criminalizing problematic drug abusers, they should be provided with help and support.
11. Farmers in countries like Afghanistan and Colombia should be given improved living standards by legalizing and regulating the sale of their famous export products like coca leaves, rather than selling cocaine to criminal organizations. It is illogical for coca leaves to be illegal when it takes a cubic meter of them diluted in chemicals to produce just two grams of cocaine.
We are actively discussing these issues with various friends and organizations, and we welcome all opinions. We firmly believe that drug policy needs to change as soon as possible. Legalize! is a non-governmental organization that operates with volunteer workers and limited funding. Any support, whether through joining our cause or making a donation, is greatly appreciated. You can contribute by donating to the following account:
Cash IBAN NL31ING0008366197 stg. Legalize! Amsterdam
Thank you for your support.
The Legalize! Board:
Gerben Hellinga, Hans Plomp, Carl Cyril Drohe, Aleksi Hupli, Has Cornelissen