United States Marijuana Laws Influencing Other Countries

The United States may be influencing the marijuana laws of multiple nations, including the Dutch. There has been a recent movement in the Netherlands to remove an uneasy contradiction within the law that prohibits the large-scale growing and wholesaling of marijuana but permits the smoking of pot.

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Our marijuana lawyers know that the societal and legal shifts in the United States with regard to marijuana policy are creating a synergy and ripple effect even beyond the boarder.

The current policy in the Netherlands leave licensed marijuana sellers and a large number of individuals with nowhere to go to get their supply – except criminals.

Clearly this type of policy has a negative effect on the pot industry. A recent statement released by the mayors of Amsterdam and approximately 34 other cities has called for the government to start regulating and licensing sellers and growers at the national level.

The type of program the mayors are calling for is similar to the way that states like Washington and Colorado conduct their marijuana business.

The insight of the Dutch mayors is relevant to the states in the United States that refuse to relax marijuana laws. The Dutch mayors explained that the current policy of “see-no-evil” encourages criminal activity and even serves as a threat to the safety in cities and the quality of life for citizens.

The Netherlands has continued with a policy were no person has been prosecuted for growing or using small amounts of marijuana for their own personal use but the government has begun to crack down on sale of pot to coffeeshops.

The tension in the Netherlands is eerily similar to the tension between the federal government and the states here in the United States. Although some states have long lobbied the federal government for a formal change in policy, there doesn’t seem to be a change in policy on the horizon.

A former European Union commissioner explains that public opinion is shifting internationally toward legalization and regulation. A major party, the Dutch Labor Party, has recently endorsed regulation and legalization as its preferred marijuana policy position.

Another similarity exists between the Netherlands and the United States when it comes to the money spent on marijuana enforcement and prosecution and the potential revenues lost from taxes on legal sales.

Some studies indicate that wholesalers and growers of pot could pay up to $1.35 billion on an annual basis in taxes while the law enforcement agencies could stand to save over $100 million in the prosecution and raiding of growers.

The Washington State CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Manifest – Joint Regulation, January 31, 2014.

More Blog Entries:

California: City Council to Review Bill Allowing Dispensaries , December 29, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Uruguay Lifts Prohibition of Marijuana – Joins Colorado and Washington StateDecember 25, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog