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What is sensible when it comes to developing and implementing a policy with regard to products which in the case of regular use are harmful, but which at the same time exert a strong attraction, even so strong that people (may) become dependent on or addicted to them? This question relates to many illicit drugs, but these days it is, both nationally and internationally, mainly related to the policy regarding the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis. Generally speaking, the legalization of cannabis in Uruguay and in some states of the United States of America, in particular Colorado and Washington State, has given a powerful impetus to the discussion about the cannabis policy. In the Netherlands, that discussion has become increasingly relevant over the past years because of the struggle of coffeeshop owners and political parties.
This volume offers the first English-language analysis of the situation in the Netherlands in order to make a contribution to the international debate on this heated topic. Since the 1960s, the Dutch cannabis policy has been an important point of reference in the international discussion about the policy that should be pursued regarding the use of cannabis. However, in international and foreign literature about cannabis policy the developments in the Netherlands are often depicted in an incomplete or one-sided manner, which has a negative impact on the quality of the international debate about what has happened and what should happen now. This volume seeks to redress that imbalance.