Tuesday, July 19, 2005

US and Dutch drug czars find common ground

In what appears to be largely a symbolic gesture, John Walters and his counterpart in Holland signed an agreement for reducing drug use.

Holland's permissive drug policy has long been a source of friction between the two countries. Holland's success was making our prohibition policies look bad. However, Walters finally managed to get the "crack of marijuana" meme going on the federal level in Holland with this agreement. The two drug czars bonded over a new strain of high potency Dutch home grown marijuana being plied in the cafes there called THC.
"But on a visit to Holland earlier this year, I was struck by how much commonality there was over the issue of marijuana THC and high-potency cannabis," he said. "Their research showed that 20 percent of homegrown marijuana was THC, and they were having significantly greater problems with this. Dutch government agencies have been saying this almost ought to be treated as a different drug."

Having identified an area on which they could work together, Walters and Hoogervorst drew up a joint statement. The agreement paves the way for a summit this fall between U.S. and Dutch researchers, information sharing between drug addiction experts and the assignment of a Dutch researcher to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
This isn't exactly news. We've heard these rumblings of discontent among the Dutch feds for probably a year or so now. The mayors and local legislators have so far managed to block any significant attempts to shut down the cafes or their suppliers though. It would be stupid when their tourism depends to such a large degree on the so-called drug tourists.

Nonetheless, it doesn't pay to underestimate a prohibition profiteer of Walter's caliber. We'll be watching for developments to see if anything more comes of this.

[hat tip to JackL]


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