“We have given the monopoly to criminals.”

Market regulation Hard drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy For the mayor of Amsterdam, it is the only way to combat drug trafficking and its “catastrophic” consequences on the economy and security of the Dutch capital.

“We can suggest obtaining cocaine from pharmacies or with a prescription,” Femke Halsema said in an interview with Agence France-Presse.

Halsema has been in charge of the city since 2018 and is now leading an international campaign to regulate cocaine use in the hope it will help deal with the impact it has on traffic. In the hands of criminal gangs.

“This is often an emotional and moral debate,” says the ecologist, who aims to encourage political authorities to do so. Adopt a more “economical or practical” attitude In this regard, without denying the danger of consuming narcotic substances:

“I also believe that some medications are dangerous and it is wise to reduce their use, but the way we are dealing with it is not helping.”

According to Halsema, there is a reason behind drug use A “bloody and powerful” world. Which generates billions of euros every year, disrupts the economy and threatens the future of vulnerable young people in the capital of the Netherlands and other European capitals, where consumption is becoming increasingly common.

“We have given the monopoly to the criminals,” laments the city's first authority, he points out, 80% of police work Dedicated to combating drug-related crimes.

Halsema is a member of Esquerra Verda and has been mayor of the city since 2018 (Europa Press/Evert Elzinga)

Towards a drug state?

The Netherlands is one of the main entry points for this type of drug in Europe, through which many organized crime groups operate Ports such as Rotterdam.

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The politician asks: “Isn’t it ridiculous to leave drug trafficking to criminals, and not try to find a civilized market model?” Decriminalize consumers:

“Are they criminals? I don’t think so, and criminalizing them has not had the expected effects on the other side of the Atlantic, where prisons are overcrowded and the health effects are still disastrous.”

Beyond that, the mayor notes that the judicial system is at its limit and costs “incredible amounts of money,” and there is a lot at stake in this matter, the mayor noted. Three murders In recent years, there has been a connection with the trial of a drug trafficker in the city:

“We are slowly evolving into a narco-state in which drug control becomes one of the most important things.”

However, the policy also recognizes the achievement of an “orderly, healthy and controlled” market. It takes decadesBecause it will be necessary to think about “the entire chain, from production.”

Mayor's position They clash directly with those held by neighboring cities with similar problems, such as Antwerpwhere Mayor Bart De Wever launched a war on drugs, or RotterdamThe authorities launched a campaign aimed at indicating that consumers give wings to criminal networks.

The mayor herself complains that “the conservative government in the Netherlands doesn't want to talk” about it, but with her attitude – and as the visible face of one of the major drug capitals – she has succeeded. Take a place in a debate that crosses borders.

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