Are we entering a new era of cannabis regulation? An overview of current cannabis production regimes
- Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:40
By Kristy Kruithof and Mafalda Pardal
Throughout the world, cannabis legalisation advocates and opponents have been following the recent debates and legalisation developments in the United States (Colorado and Washington state) and Uruguay with great interest. Although international drug treaties prohibit the production, distribution and possession of cannabis for non-medical and non-scientific purposes, several jurisdictions have implemented new laws and policies, including some that remove criminal penalties for possession of small doses of cannabis. Colorado, Washington state and Uruguay are taking these changes a few steps further by fully legalising the commercial production and sale of cannabis. In other countries, non-commercial models of production and distribution have also been developed, albeit operating in a grey or illegal zone.
In this context, the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice commissioned RAND Europe to provide a multinational overview of cannabis production regimes. With this study we aimed to improve the understanding of the current production regimes for non-medical and non-scientific purposes, and how these are shaped and/or supported by official pronouncements and/or legal decisions. Following an initial scoping review and in consultation with several drug policy experts, four countries were selected for a more in-depth review: Spain, Belgium, United States and Uruguay.