In a country known for its drug war and where Bill Clinton once caught hell for admitting to smoking pot, new ground is being broken: legal marijuana markets in two states.
The pioneers of this sea change are out west, in Colorado and Washington, and grassroots support for their experiment is strong.
Marijuana consumption is legal and regulated for medical purposes in 19 US states, in some cases for the past 20 years. And in most of them, private consumption of pot is not classified as a crime.
Even if a person is completely unaware of issues surrounding marijuana or its growing legalization, chances are they've seen jokes in sitcoms about Amsterdam being a pot utopia free-for-all. And usually there are stoner stereotypes thrown in for good measure. Yes, Amsterdam, Netherlands is the mecca of cannabis freedom, since 1970.
Uruguay saw the devastating effects of the war on drugs and turned things around to focus on rehabilitation – not police tactics. Colorado citizen demands and the value of cannabis as a beneficial medicine decriminalized dispensaries in the state. (The federal government “hasn't gotten the memo” and still views even medical marijuana users as cold hard thugs that need punishment.)
But most mind-blowing of all, an article on Huffington Post by the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs was shared nearly a quarter-million times in the first few …
So the policy always relied on something impossible to hide: clandestine supplying of the country's famous hash and pot cafes.
Still, Holland is divided between those who favor formal legalization of marijuana and those who are sick of “marijuana tourists” who go to the Netherlands to get high.
So several Dutch cities have denied foreign tourists access to the free-wheeling cafes, only letting in people who can prove they live in the Netherlands.
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