Cannabis policy in the Netherlands: moving forwards not backwards

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Misunderstandings and misreporting of actual and proposed changes to Dutch cannabis policy in 2011 have led some opponents of cannabis reform to suggest the country is retreating from its longstanding and pragmatic policy of tolerating the possession, use and sale of cannabis.

This is not the case. In reality, most of the more regressive measures have either not been implemented, have been subsequently abandoned, or have had only marginal impacts. Additionally, there is growing public support for wider, progressive reform, including a system of legal cannabis regulation similar to that adopted in Uruguay, and efforts are underway by numerous municipalities to establish such models of production and supply.

This briefing challenges the myths about the Dutch system by setting out the facts on the key issues.