This week's new campaign is “normally about drugsstarted. This campaign is necessary for the simple reason that the current drug policy of the Dutch government is not working. Drug policy has become increasingly harsh and repressive in recent years. And what has this approach brought us? High costs for the police and the judiciary, while drugs are cheaper and easier to get than ever. There is hardly any information, drug waste is dumped and crime is only increasing.
The campaign calls on everyone to act normal about drugs. If you consider drugs as normal products, you can also set normal rules. A ban leads to illegal street trade and bad drugs. By regulating rather than banning drugs, you can manage the production and sale of drugs, with rules about quality, safety and health. Combined with targeted prevention and honest information about the effects of drugs, this ensures a good drug policy.
The fight against drugs costs the Netherlands 4,5 billion euros annually. And it only gets more. This autumn, the cabinet has decided to make another hundreds of millions extra to spend on the “war on drugs”. Already more than half of the capacity of the police and the judiciary is spent on drugs. Three quarters of major criminal investigations focus on drugs. It is mopping with the tap open.
A drug-free society is an illusion. It is time for politicians to take a different approach. By regulating drugs, you deprive criminals of their revenue model. The response of the police is invariably that this will not make criminals disappear, but that they will be busy with other dark matters. That may be so, but I don't see that as a reason not to legalize drugs. Because why don't the 1,7 million people who use drugs every year deserve protection? They don't have to depend on criminals. That is a political choice.
Instead of fighting drugs, it is also possible to opt for strict enforcement of a well-regulated market. Consumers can then legally buy drugs in a safe environment, from a reliable source. Not on the street at a dealer. And because legal products can be taxed, regulation even generates money. In this way good information can be given about the effects and risks of drugs and serious attention can be paid to prevention. In this way, our tax money is spent wisely and the policy contributes to a healthy and safe society.
If you also think that we should be normal about drugs and that it is time for a different drug policy, join us and Donate a small amount to the campaign. This is the chance to send a signal to politicians in The Hague. A signal that things can and must be done differently. Together we are strong. The more people rally behind this campaign, the louder the signal to politicians.
That is why I ask you to pay attention to the campaign, share the message and spread it further within your own network. On the website you can find more information about the campaign. Here's also what you can do to support the campaign.