Economics of Legalized Marijuana in Amsterdam 1. What resources are involved in legalized soft drugs in Amsterdam? There are many resources involved in the market of soft drugs. Whether it be human resources or the plants itself. The use of cannabis products has been legalized; every town has at least one "hash and coffee shop", and the possession of less than 30 grams is not prosecuted by the police. In spite of the liberalization of the use of soft drugs, trafficking in cannabis products is still forbidden. Which has a great rise in the demand of better foreign plants that people desire hence raising the cost of the desired plant.

Besides the possession of hash, the possession by addicts of hard drugs (an amount less than 1/2 gram of heroin, cocaine, or morphine) has been permitted. So even though there is legalized coffee shops there is still a need for hard drug dealers to sell those drugs. Legalized coffee shops does not diminish the need for corner drug dealers only in the case of marijuana and hash. The coffee shops are another resource to this way of society. There are somewhere between 350-600 coffee shops in and around Amsterdam each one employing who knows how many employees. There are also the other products they sell in the shops ranging from pipes and bongs to weed brownies and coffee.

Other then the shops itself probably the main resource needed is the plant growers them self. Whether the plants come from Holland or another country this is a very marketable and profitable cash crop. Acres of land is needed to grow marijuana and hash which cost many to maintain. There is also workshops needed to produce the marijuana into the final product once it is cultivated from the ground. In the Netherlands, there are no legal grounds for compulsory kicking the habit, or is kicking the habit considered to be a condition of extending aid to the users of illegal drugs. As the Dutch Minister of Justice put it in 1987:" In the Netherlands we give high priority to services directed primarily at improving the health and social functioning of the addict, without necessarily ending addiction, because a lot of addicts are not, or not yet, capable of kicking the habit.

Addiction involves a lifestyle which cannot be changed easily and quickly" (Harrison). Another resource of this culture is care facilities for addicts. They are charged with a great variety of tasks, such as: being an intermediary between the official society and the world of drug users; taking care of their material conditions; organizing the methadone programs, as well as needle exchange programs, and providing condoms to heroin prostitutes. All these activities are not directed at kicking the use of drugs, but simply at harm reduction or the limitation of damage to the health of the addict or to his or her social functioning. 2.

How does the legal sale of soft drugs impact the economic productivity of Amsterdam? The annual revenue of the Netherlands is about $500 million a year in domestic sales. Also think about the money they are saving not fighting illegal marijuana. Compare it to the fight on drugs in America, currently the government loses money in its pursuit of drug users, including the enforcement of laws against cannabis users and dealers. "Marijuana accounts for 30% of drug arrests in America." (Schumacher) Hence in Holland the government is maybe saving between 6 and 9 billion dollars annually, in law enforcement alone compared to the U.

S. losing that much and the possible income of regulated sales of marijuana. Other economic effects that it has is less criminal activity due to the lack of black market sales. This lowers the price of insurance when it comes to theft because the users no longer have to pay the ridiculous high prices of inflation due to the illegal black market.

3. What future economic gains or loses may result from the current sales of soft drugs. The economic gains are plentiful as I stated before the sales of marijuana is upwards $500 million annually. The taxes gained by legalized soft drug use is comparable to cigarette sales and alcoholic beer sales tax. This is national and local revenue that usually would be lost do to laws outlawing the sales. Also the lack of law enforcement and jail space frees up billions of dollars that would otherwise have been used to find, charge, and incarcerate marijuana dealers and users.

The only economic loses I can see in legalized soft drugs is the healthcare and rehabilitation part of it. But many times there is no need for this since there is no addictive nature to marijuana unlike cigarettes or hereditary addiction to alcohol. There is a need for rehab to the hard drug users which is not legal in Holland but many times tolerated. Legal marijuana use also saves the users hundreds of dollars maybe even thousands a year. Since the cost of it is lowered due to it being taken off the black market and regulated it is less expensive to purchase. Also the punishment for possession is taken away hence no jail time and lost wages or fines that could drain a persons income.

The gains from legalized marijuana are enormous and the losses are minimal. Bibliography Harrison, Lana, web March 2, 2003 Mastrigt, H. Van. "The Abolition of Drug Policy: Toward Strategic Alternatives." Journal of Drug Issues, 1990, 20: 647-658. Schumacher, Geoff, web March 3, 2003 Vocal, Ed." Marijuana Tax Worth $28. 6 Million, Study Says." Las Vegas Review- Journal.

12... October 16, 2002 web March 2, 2003.