About a year ago, the Dutch government announced it planned a test with legally produced weed. One manufacturer will be granted a permit to grow weed, and the government will distribute that product to a number of cities in a bid to drive out the criminal supply chain to Dutch “coffee shops”. Try to come up with the most ridiculous field you can think of for a government to be actively involved in, and nine times out of ten, the Dutch government will be actively involved in it.
While many in favor of legalizing marijuana used to point to The Netherlands as a prime example, the actual regulations on ‘soft drugs’ are a counterproductive labyrinth – an exercise in government indecision. Cannabis is not actually legal in The Netherlands, it is only tolerated under heavy regulation. Selling marijuana is allowed (with permits of course, because we have permits for everything), as well as owning it in limited quantities for personal use only. Smoking weed is allowed only in coffee shops or at home. Smoking weed outside is still illegal. However, smoking tobacco in coffee shops is prohibited, since smoking is prohibitied by law in all bars, restaurants, etc. Growing marijuana on a large scale (more than 5 plants) is illegal, and so is transporting more than 5 grams.
This means that the entire production and supply chain of weed and soft drugs is still criminal enterprise, making it very difficult for the proprietors of coffee shops, who are otherwise following the law, to stay out of the realm of organized crime.
A logical solution would be to legalize the production and transportation of soft drugs, but the solution of bureaucratic, overregulated European nanny states is to implement a government monopoly.
The plans are hitting the news again, so the test will probably start soon.
We have a state operated lottery, a state operated casino chain (and a ban on live casinos, except casinos with machines only, for everybody else), we have an increasing call to ban consumer fireworks and replace them with professional fireworks displays organized by local governments. And now we are going to have government weed.
I would say “What’s next?” and come up with a more ridiculous example of a field for the government to enter, but as suggested in the first paragraph, I just can’t anymore.