The Netherlands is one country that’s most considerate in its drug policy. It is also one of the quickest to realize that it is impossible to tame people to not do drugs. Thus, in the interest of everyone, state policy and opium law in Netherland classified drugs to be of 2 kinds – soft drugs and hard drugs. Soft drugs are least addictive and least risky whilst hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, and LSD are seriously addictive and deadly toxic with a great possibility of causing death.
Soft drugs like Cannabis is still illegal for commercial purposes, but the criteria to possessing them for individual use in much lenient. That said, the situation wasn’t as pleasant as it is currently.
The road to developing a tolerance policy for soft drugs, especially Cannabis because it was in high demand, wasn’t a smooth one. It was in 2013 that the government took the initiative to recognize that it’s better to be lax when it comes to cannabis in order to ensure public safety in a lot of ways. It was partially because regulation and government interference meant that the quality of cannabis in the market is good and not lethal in any way.
Further, in 2014, the law was passed that only Dutch citizens will be allowed to own coffee shops (the name for legally authorized cannabis sellers in Netherland). After further persuasion, it was decided that possessing less than 5 grams of the cannabis plant for personal use will not be a criminal offense. In order words, Cannabis in Netherlands is still illegal, but possessing less than 5 grams for personal use is legal.
However, it wasn’t anytime before 2017 that cannabis production was taken into consideration. It was only in late 2017 that production of cannabis was made partially legal. Why? It gave a better hold to ensure quality cultivation. The law suggested legalizing a few selective coffee shops to monitor the source of production – who is cultivating cannabis and with what methods and precautions.
Given the history of abuse, government policy still remains stringent when it comes to hard drugs. But, as far as soft drugs are concerned, there have been a lot of reforms. Another noticeable fact is that Cannabis was entirely banned in all the states of the Netherlands. But, it was legalized for medical use in 2003. On a closing note, medical Cannabis in Netherland has 5 variations and they are used to treat medical conditions like anxiety and depression.