A new book published by the Beckley Foundation and Oxford University Press has concluded that cannabis prohibition policies have comprehensively failed and that a new approach to cannabis policy is urgently needed.
In this book, experts say that while the drug harmed some users, it had only a modest effect on society, where cocaine and alcohol were potentially more damaging.
Researcher Peter Reuter said authorities should acknowledge "growing evidence that criminalization of use is a minor deterrent" and recognize the importance of developing "responsible ways of managing supply, rather than creating large illegal markets". Much like the coffeeshop system in the Netherlands, although its current conservative government aims to crack down on these cannabis outlets.
A crucial conclusion of the book is that there appears to be no apparent link between cannabis policy - whether draconian or liberal - and prevalence of use. Thus liberal approaches appear to be preferable, as they minimise the adverse consequences arising from the law and its enforcement.
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