The cannabis policy in the Netherlands remains a mystifying, headache-inducing thing. Let's tolerate it. Let's not tolerate it. Let's require everyone to carry a weed pass. Oh wait, let's not, because that turned out to be a terrible idea.
Did something finally change? Is the Dutch King just chilling with a joint? Ehh..no, but at the very least there's been a small step in the right direction. A task force of the Association of Dutch Municipalities has investigated the matter and now advises the use of a licensing system.
Current policy is crap
If you've been following Dutch news you probably already knew this, but the current 'gedoogbeleid' (tolerance policy) is kind of weird. Sales and use of cannabis are tolerated to an extend, but production is not. Which leads to a strange hypocrisy; how should coffeeshops get supplied if cannabis production is not allowed?
The task force, consisting of mayors from large and small municipalities, propose a system that allows more control and regulation of both production and sales of cannabis.
Businesses would be carefully screened and under strict guidelines given a license. If this idea is ever implemented it would mean the end of the gedoogbeleid and lead to actual laws for soft drugs, while still allowing municipalities some leeway to experiment with their own policies.
The Dutch government has already expressed their lack of interest in legalisation of soft drugs.
Sigh. We're not quite there yet. Or, more cynical: we're not there at all.