Dutch to sell cannabis by prescription in pharmacies

Proponents of “medical marijuana” maintain that the Evil Weed has such great medical utility that not allowing its medical use causes huge amounts of suffering. The strongest evidence against that proposition is the absence of substantial medical use in the countries where recreational cannabis is much less tightly regulated than it is in the United States. I’ve made that argument: “Do Dutch doctors treat MS with marijuana? If not, why not?” (There may be a good answer to that question: that the healers of our tribe prescribe powders and not plants because they don’t want to be confused with the healers of other tribes.)

Now it appears that the Dutch government is ready to allow the sale of cannabis of known potency and cannabinoid profile as a prescription medicine through normal pharmacies. I hope someone is planning to take advantage of the research opportunity this creates. With any luck, we can move the medical marijuana debate from the campaign trail to the clinical laboratory, where it belongs.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com