Legalizing the production and use of cannabis would not lead to less drug crime, concludes a delegation from the Dutch police after a working visit to Canada. The Netherlands more often looks at how the North American country is fighting drug crime, de Volkskrant writes Tuesday.
One of the main reasons that legalizing would not work is because on the black market the price of hemp is much lower, because criminals do not have to take the tax into account.
It would be two to three euros per gram of cannabis. Estimates about illegal sales in Canada range from 2.3 to 3.4 billion euros.
Canada legalized cannabis in October 2018. That was then one of the important election promises of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He found that the legislation, which was almost a hundred years old, was no longer effective.
Now the cannabis is being produced in the country by private companies that require a permit. Delivery to cannabis stores is carried out by government organizations. Stores can be in the hands of private entrepreneurs and again the government.
"In terms of crime, there are as yet no indications that the new cannabis system has taken the wind out of the hands of criminals," concludes administrative expert Pieter Tops, professor of public administration at Tilburg University and professor of police and public administration at the Police Academy.
Part of legal cannabis still ends up on an illegal market
"For the time being it remains to be seen whether the legal system in Canada will be able to cope with the power and extent of the illegal system." Some of the legal cannabis would still be produced illegally or go "through a back door" to the illegal market, Tops said.
In the Netherlands, an experiment with legal hemp is still in its infancy. Twenty-six municipalities have registered for the trial, of which six to ten are chosen. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven have not made themselves available. In two years, the legally grown weed should be in coffee shops.
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