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Amsterdam Mayor Calls for Regulated Cocaine Market

The Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, has stated that the sale and use of cocaine and other drugs in the Netherlands should not be considered a criminal offense. She referred to the fight against drugs as “perverse and counterproductive.”

In an interview with the Financieele Dagblad newspaper, Halsema emphasized that the drug markets should be regulated to undermine the income model of “unscrupulous criminals.”

At the same time, the mayor explained that she is not advocating for the “hasty legalization” of cocaine but rather its regulation. A similar approach is already being implemented in a pilot project by the Dutch government for the cultivation of cannabis, where it is legally supplied to coffee shops.

“About 80% of our police resources are spent on combating drug-related crimes. In the Netherlands and Belgium, street prices for cocaine have remained unchanged for years. So, one can only conclude that the incredible amount of effort has not influenced the market,” noted Halsema.

She belongs to an “increasing group of scientists and policymakers” who consider the “war on drugs” to be as harmful as drugs themselves.

As known, the Netherlands was a pioneer in decriminalizing the use of marijuana, starting in the 1970s. In the country, individuals are not penalized for consuming and selling small amounts of marijuana, but its commercial cultivation is still prohibited.

It was reported at the beginning of the previous year that smoking marijuana on the streets of the red-light district in Amsterdam would become illegal. Additionally, cafes and restaurants in the Dutch capital would close earlier.

These measures are intended to improve the living conditions of the city’s residents, who have long complained about the disorder caused by numerous tourists.

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