Opening: (video) presentation of policy by Franklin (10 min)

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1 Focus of the debate: What are alternatives for cannabis prohibition? Taking a look at current initiatives to regulate cannabis supply (production, trading and sales) in EU Member States (and other parts of the world) which can be seen as the next steps on a continuum from decriminalisation of use to legal regulation Opening: (video) presentation of policy by Franklin (10 min) Issues for the debate: What is the problem with current approaches and what are driving forces for change? (tour de table, 10 min) This could be covered for an important part by the opening remarks or video/presentation of Franklin based on the policy brief (issues covered in section 1 of the brief) Description of the problem by the policitians (Rebel, Depla, Everhardt) Netherlands: we have become back bencher instead of front runner. Issues of concern: 1. A hard line repressive approach by the Minister of Justice and Safety, taking over the policy lead from the Minister of Health; repression as core policy instead of public health as basis for cannabis policies 2. A nearly forty year old system of coffeeshops in which a half way solution could not be completed to a complete transparent chain of production, trading and sales 3. Infiltration of criminal organizations into the system, taking over a large part of the cultivation of cannabis (often cannabis with high THC percentages) 4. No need or urges from either users or retailers to change a system; availability of cannabis and non prosecution of use and possession of small amounts can lead to false sense of satisfaction with current policies and practices. 5. Coffeeshops are under a serious treat. The numbers are dropping the last decade, demands and conditions / guidelines are stricter Needed: an alternative policy is needed. See manifest Joint Regulation A three pillar strategy based on a nationwide system of certification and regulation of the production of cannabis and the supply to retailers 1. Protect the health (preventing uncessary health risks) of users 2. To enhance the living quality of neighbourhoods, that are impacted severely by illegal, dangerous cannabis nurseries 3. To combat criminal organization that have penetrated and dominate the cannabis market Negative consequences of prohibition negative (public) health and well being impacts, enfranchising organised / drug-related crime, worsening inequities,

2 increasing public costs, lost public tax revenues, obstructing research. (Rolles, Room, Trautmann, Decorte, Korf, Weiss) What are possible solutions? (30 min) Start with the three politicians (Rebel, Depla, Everhardt) See manifest Joint Regulation, three pillars see above. Furthermore CSC as an alternative for purchases at coffeeshops. This could also partly be covered by the opening remarks or video/presentation of Franklin based on the policy brief (e.g. regarding new international regulations/conventions, 2.7) The different models in different countries (Everhardt: social club model, Decorte: models in other countries,? Netherlands (Depla, Korf, Trautmann), US (Weiss), Uruguay) The CSC model has been outlined as an alternative for recreational users who, for whatever reason, are not completely happy with the cannabis available at coffeeshops. This initiative follows good examples in countries such as Spain and it follows recommendations of a national advisory report to explore and develop small scale closed ciruits of cultivation of cannabis for own use. With these conditions and constraints CSC must be possible within international treaties and national law. A recent report from the Radboud University in which the VN are very strictly interpreted, supports this. The authors of this report denounce the Dutch coffeeshops policy, because the coffeeshop is not in accordance with the UN treaties. On the other hand, CSCs are considered formally forbidden by the treaties, but small scale cultivation for own use in a closed circuit is a so called minor offence, so it is not obligatory to prosecute CSCs. Carefully planned regulation policy (clear aims, ground rules and objectives, provide effective supply chain management. (Room, Rolles, Trautmann, Rebel)) The change of the treaties: is it worth to go for it or simply let them fade away (Room, Rolles, Trautmann) What are opportunities/threats and how to deal with threats (30 min) Opportunities: Experiments with new control regime: New knowledge through monitoring and evaluation of impact; ensure quality through appropriate testing; raise tax revenues for public health actions (Decorte, Everhardt, Depla) The most important opportunity and advantage of CSC might be that the quality of cannabis and envisaged effects of different brands are back on the agenda. In other words: not the use on its own, but the envisaged impact of use on the user is back on the agenda. Furthermore in CSCs eco-friendly ways of cultivation are back on the agenda.

3 Utrecht in favour of careful planning, monitoring and evaluation strategies. A research design has been made. Based on the Zinberg model outcome measures are: the substance: quality and manifucturing of the cannabis (THC-CBD ratio and percentages, quality / purity of cultivation) the set (individual) frequency and amount of use, quality of life / psychosocial health, compulsiveness of use (dependence / addiction) the setting / context political / administrative location / public nuisance (NIMBY) experiences / opnion about a CSC as a meaningful setting for members Testing is an issue that needs further elaboration. There is the Spanish approach were CSC have developed their own quality systems and control measures independent companies that test the cannabis cultivated, in order to assess the quality and to inform CSC members-. For the Netherlands, we can think of sytems for quality assessment and surveillance and enforcement related to or akin to the models for control used in the domains of tobacco and alcohol. Whatever system or model is chosen, it is the gouvernment that must formulate and enforce quality standards. Threats: Political / ideological / economic market opposition (Rebel, Depla, Everhardt) UN treaties are hard to accomplish, but once realized it seems sheer impossible to change or amend them. No one believes anymore in the war on drugs, but there seems no basis for a fundamental discussion leading to modification or adjustment according to the needs of Individual countries have their own strategies and are sometimes seeking their own solutions / alternatives (Bolivia, Uruguay, Colorado / Washington and so forth) Political image damage (NL as narco state). Comments, critiques on drug policies of other countries are quite often not based on facts but they are given for political purposes. Open borders in Europe, how to deal with that? Closed circuit models can be a solution How to prevent that a cannabis industry comparable to the alcohol and tobacco industry will dominates the market and will outflank public health. The Uruguay model of state dispensaries, measures to prevent monopolies by an licensing system, and policies to protect of small cooperations looks sympathetic. How to prevent addiction and stimulate moderate recreational use? Both CSC but also the models in Uruguay and the USA have maximum amounts one can purchase / order. Other measures for instance are a combination of retail and prevention / information or voluntary offers for

4 counseling. Small networks or CSCs provide a context of persons who know each other and who might take care or show concern for each other. Such a context seems preferable above a context of anonymous purchase and use. What are possible unintended consequences and how to deal with them? (60 min) Draw on tobacco and alcohol experience (Room) Explore/map possible unintended consequences on beforehand (Decorte, Korf, Trautmann) Commercial dominance (Decorte, Room) Higher prevalence? (Trautmann, Korf, Decorte) Regulation guidelines for production and sales (AHOJ-G in NL and US rules) What are (the most important) next steps (tour de table 10 min) Possible further issue from policy brief: How to prevent leakage to unregulated illicit markets; and Effectively control price - strike a balance between dissuading use, reducing size of competing illegal markets, displacing use from and to other drugs and generating sales and tax revenues; Effectively integrating taxation policy into pricing structures; Ensure that potency is regulated and that consumers are informed of potency risks; Ensure that vendors are trained, licensed and regulated; and Create safe controlled outlets (retail-only and/or on-site consumption) that meets demand, reduces illicit-market competition, while at same time prevents potential increases in use. How to control commercial dominance (2.5.1): what to learn from alcohol and tobacco policies How to deal with advertising and marketing How to deal with under age use Build institutional capacity (2.4.4) General remark: These are all sound and important steps. In the NL it is important to build upon experiences with the regulation guidelines for coffeeshops so far. Related to this: what we see in the NL is that rules and regulations for bars are becoming more lenient, while rules and regulations for coffeeshops become increasingly austere. I would opt for a discussion about a good set of measures that applies equally for vendors of substances with health related risk. To be noted here: coffeeshops in the NL are very compliant, while we often see or read how easy it is for under age youngster to buy alcohol. The condonement system for coffeeshops and a permission system for bars and alcohol retailers may too a large extent explain this difference. Therefore in a regulated system we must learn from recent initiatives of accordance or agreements between local gouvernments and alcohol and tobacco retailers. Other discussion questions Can legal regulation help solve the economic crisis?

5 What will legal regulation do to our kids? Can legal regulation recue alcohol use and impacts? What effect will legal regulation of cannabis will have on other drugs. General remark The economic discussion, including pricing and taxing always come up. The opinions vary, from regulation as a means to solve the economic crisis to regulation as the starting point for a huge drop of the price (and therefor no large taxing benefits). With regard to this: I am more interested in pricing as a means to discourage people to buy and use too much, because it is well know that price (besides availability and quality) matters much in considerations of individuals to obtain and use substances. The impact of the price on tax revenues is a second order issue, as far as I am concerned.

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