Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dutch Government urged to open international debate about UN drug conventions

The Transnational Institute in the Netherlands, one of the worlds leading centers of drug policy scholarship, has today co-signed a letter and resolution sent to the Dutch Prime Minister and relevant parliamentary commissions, stressing the need for an active Dutch involvement in the UN's 10 year drug strategy review process and specifically to use the window of opportunity offered by the 10 year strategic review to open the discussion about the UN conventions that are an obstacle to further developments in Dutch cannabis policy - specifically the issue of legal production. The resolution has received massive media coverage in the Netherlands today in part because it has been signed by Van Agt (a former Dutch prime minister), a number of ex-ministers, five mayors and several police chiefs.

The letter presents the resolution that resulted from the October 31 invitational conference on Dutch cannabis policy in The Hague, chaired by Maastricht Mayor Leers.

The resolution calls for moves towards legal regulation of cannabis production which, anomalously, remains illegal despite the tolerance for and licensing of cannabis sales in 'coffee shops', the so called 'back door problem'. There has been a Parliamentary majority for such a move for a number of years but the Government has been reluctant to take the step as it would be in clear violation of the UN drug treaties, which the the existing policy of tolerance for small scale supply and use arguably is not.

Unfortunately an english translation of the resolution will not be available for a few days (It will be posted here when it becomes available - in the mean time a rather garbled babel fish translation is in comments). Dutch speakers can read the resolution and accompanying documentation here.


Steve R said...

Below is a translation provided by the automated software from Babel fish - so shouldn't be taken as anything remotely authoritative- and most certainly not quoted. It gives a vague indication of the meaning. The official translation
should be available in a couple of days......

The present genodigden, originating from a broad representation from political, the governing board, judicial authorities, police force and experts, on 31 October 2007 in The Hague have met express the squat need make an end for the negative consequences of the gedoogbeleid around sale of cannabis. It is determined that many countries in the world frequently corresponding negative consequences experience concerning its own cannabis policy. This means that in gezamenlijkheid to international law adaptations of the current international treaty scheme that a further development of the national cannabis policy must be gezocht stands in the way.

It is argued that the Netherlands with other countries will strive for a modification of this international Right framework, in order to reach more credible, only not based on repression, and effective alternative for the current cannabis policy at national level. The signatories of this resolution,


couples permanently that the current cannabis policy

a. is based on an international Right framework from the 1960s of the previous century that not suitable is the contemporary problems manage catch, as a result of which a further development of the policy stagnates;

b. is conducted on the basis of a gedoogbeleid where is used the space which offers the international Right framework; that this gedoogbeleid indeed practical but at the same time also a temporary solution is because long-term tolerate the credibility of the government damage;

c. inconsistently and for this reason with difficulty to the citizen is explain; thus the use is permitted and sale of small quantities in practice, but production and large-scale trade is continued; also the proportion to the policy is with respect to resources with a similar health risk like at alcohol and tobacco inconsistent;

d. on a number of points ineffective is: compared with to evaluate positively the aspects such as the separation of the markets (soft and hard drugs) and pushing back the criminal share in the retail trade, there no legal possibilities are of checking the quality of cannabis (Thc-gehalte, clogging) and to take other measures for the restriction of health damage; furthermore the criminal profits in the wholesale trade and production are still large and stimulate the current policy the thuisteelt;

e. to a heavy administrative and judicial charge leads and to continuing criticism of some countries and of control agencies of the UN,


couples in addition fixed that:

a. the attempts, undertaken the Dutch parliament and local drivers raising the inconsistencies in the current gedoogbeleid by tolerating the production of cannabis and the fueling beside sale also of the coffee shops, by consecutive governments have been rejected for reasons for conflict with international agreements;

b. there for this reason an international debate must take place the possibilities to explore of an international Right regime that more space let to national governments a consistent carry out policy;

c. more and more countries feel the need its own recalibrate policy for better protection of the public health and for combating organised crime;

d. cannabis is negotiated everywhere produced and and worldwide more than 170 millions users, what makes clear that production, trade has and availability of cannabis a common problem is;

e. 10-year the evaluation of the 1998 UNGASS concerning drugs and to that the dedicated ministerial meeting to beginning 2009 a read to the end chance offer to bring up these problems internationally,


to call the government therefore on for: to

a. an international debate with other interested countries to start in order to reach a credible and effective alternative for the current cannabis policy;

b. to promote actively that with these countries present are formulated which within the framework of coming Ungass-evaluatie can be brought up;

c. to this end required man strength and financial resources available to make.

Owen said...


Sounds like great news but I think I'd like to hang on for the real translation to come out. I can't wait to find out what a "gedoogbeleid" is...!!

Steve R said...

I assume its a 'law' 'policy' or something along those lines.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Basically, it means "policy of tolerance"