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Amsterdam's Mayor, Femke Halsema, issued a stark warning about the escalating drug crisis in the Netherlands

Amsterdam's Mayor, Femke Halsema, issued a stark warning about the escalating drug crisis in the Netherlands, expressing concerns that the country is on the verge of becoming a "narco-state." In a call to action, the progressive mayor emphasized the need for a fundamental change in the country's approach to drug policy to avert potential disastrous consequences.

Amsterdam's Mayor, Femke Halsema, issued a stark warning about the escalating drug crisis in the Netherlands

"If it continues on this current path, our economy will be inundated with criminal money, and violence will reach an all-time high. This leads to social disruption, the deterioration of neighborhoods, generations of vulnerable young people who will be lured into crime, and the undermining of the rule of law," warned Mayor Halsema.

While the Netherlands has historically been known for its lenient approach to drug policy, focusing on harm reduction for drug users, Halsema highlighted the evolving landscape of the globalized illegal drug trade. She pointed out that the lucrative and ruthlessly violent industry now poses a significant threat to the country, with devastating consequences.

In an opinion piece published in The Guardian, Halsema drew attention to alarming statistics, indicating that the port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest, has transformed into a global cocaine transit hub, resulting in record seizures of the drug. Despite increased efforts by Dutch authorities to combat drug trafficking, the mayor described the current approach as akin to "mopping with the tap running."

One troubling trend highlighted by Halsema is the involvement of children as young as 14 in the drug trade, serving as "cocaine collectors." Alongside the escalating violence associated with drug trafficking, she pointed to the targeted murders of key figures involved in criminal cases against international drug syndicates.

Moreover, Amsterdam's role as a global financial hub has made it a central player in determining drug demand and serving as a marketplace for drug lords to launder their money. The infiltration of criminal money poses a significant threat to the legal economy, particularly in sectors such as real estate, business services, and hospitality.


While acknowledging the Netherlands' efforts to align with global drug prohibition trends, Halsema stressed the need for a global shift in drug policy. She called for a reconsideration of international treaties prohibiting drugs and advocated for health-centric drug policies rather than punitive measures.

The mayor cited examples of harm-reduction policies and drug regulation initiatives in countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Uruguay as potential alternatives to the current war on drugs. While acknowledging that these solutions are not quick fixes and may trigger violent reactions from criminal organizations, she emphasized the urgency of taking action to protect the future of young people, the quality of life, economic stability, and the rule of law.

Mayor Halsema's article has sparked a debate on drug policy within the Netherlands and on the international stage. Experts and policymakers are now grappling with the challenge of finding effective alternatives to the current approach.



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