On the initiative of the Dutch Minister of Justice, Dilan Yeşilgöz, 6 European ministries met in Amsterdam around the mayor Femke Halsema. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, who have formed a coalition to fight organized crime, discussed the fight against drug-related organized crime.
At the event, the Mayor of Amsterdam told visiting ministers from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain that the “war on drugs” was not working and that she was convinced that the legalization and regulation of drug market were the only solution.
“By criminalizing supply and demand, we are only helping the criminal market,” said Ms Halsema, who is committed to cracking down on the criminal coffeeshop supply chain and believes that banning tourists would be effective.
“The regulation of tobacco and alcohol has shown that it is possible to control the market for dangerous products, while reducing health damage. To be honest, deep down I believe that the best outcome for our society can be achieved by decriminalizing cocaine and regulating the market.”
“The idea of legalizing drugs was an interesting point of discussion,” Yeşilgöz said after the meeting. “But the fact is that the market for more than 90% of the drugs that enter the Netherlands is not [destiné à notre marché]. It’s a philosophical discussion, a theoretical discussion and it could be a political discussion – but if you’re doing it as a country, say the Netherlands, then you’ve tackled your share of crime, but the market doesn’t is not here”.
“This kind of discussion only has an effect if it is global, and it is not. The problem we have is so big and so urgent that I prefer to focus on what we can do rather than on the things we can’t do much about.”
Another meeting of ministers is scheduled for spring 2023 in Antwerp.