Last Monday I was a guest in the CannaStembus, an initiative of Cannabis Selection Guide, VOC Foundation, the national coffee shop unions Platform Cannabis Companies Netherlands (PCN) en Association of Cannabis Retailers (BCD), a few local coffee shop associations and individual coffee shops. The green bus tours the Netherlands for 11 days and visits a total of 20 different cities, with the goal: the largest campaign to get the cannabis consumer to the polls that our country has ever seen. I think it's a great initiative and a great example of collaboration within the cannabis industry. For the sake of convenience, a voting guide has also been made, which contains the plans of the various parties.
The Christian parties would prefer to ban cannabis (and other drugs) completely and close all coffee shops. The parties on the right flank want no or only limited regulation to maintain the schizophrenic situation around the back door. Other parties want to regulate and legalize cannabis in the long term. Only a few parties argue for full legalization of cannabis.
One party that is not in this overview really understood it as far as I am concerned. Splinter wants to use cannabis products as a major source of government income, as do alcohol and tobacco. This allows other tax increases to be averted. The Dutch horticultural and logistics sectors can also benefit from this.
“The Netherlands is leaving billions of euros with outdated cannabis policy. We can recover from the economic damage of the corona crisis within five years if we legalize cannabis. ”
Advantages of legalization
Legalization of cannabis generates (a lot of) money. Money that does not disappear into the pockets of criminals or is spent on fighting them, but which benefits society. In several states of the US, tax revenues from the sale of legal cannabis are used to pay for all kinds of social services, such as libraries, swimming pools, schools, etc. In the Netherlands, however, social services are increasingly under pressure, according to an analysis by NRC. And due to the corona crisis, the financial position of municipalities is only deteriorating.
Legalization of cannabis provides more employment in sectors in which the Netherlands has traditionally had a strong position. Not for nothing advocates the horticultural sector years before the legalization of cannabis cultivation.
Legalization of cannabis results in less crime, so that the police have more time for other things. Recently, the head of the National Criminal Investigation Department gave itself that drugs are by far the largest job provider for the criminal investigation department.
"Without drugs we could do many other things, for example go after burglars full-time."
Last but not least, out research shows that legalization of cannabis does not lead to more cannabis use among teenagers, but rather the opposite. Legalization of cannabis leads to less use among young people.
I find it incomprehensible that parties who want a strong economy or say that social cohesion is important and that they pursue a compassionate, solidarity and social policy are so strongly opposed to the legalization of cannabis. The facts don't lie. The numbers are clear. Research shows that legalization of cannabis leads to:
More tax revenues!
Good social facilities!
Less drug use among young people!
Those are Slogans with which you can win elections, instead of contentless bickering about persistence, choose what counts, continue together or a fair future.
Legalization of cannabis is the answer to the corona crisis. I know and you as a reader (and as a voter) now know it too. Now only the politicians.