When in Florence
Finally, a card that recognizes marijuana as medicine across the EU
Published: June 8, 2011
What are these characters smoking? Over the past 40 years, Holland has developed a system that is working very smoothly for the society as a whole and that has generated an extensive industry based on the cultivation, delivery and retail sale of marijuana and hashish. The strength and efficiency of the product has simply increased in response to consumer demand.
From my own point of view, the only flaw in the present system is that cultivation and delivery remain illegal while personal use and retail sales are entirely decriminalized. The idiocy lies in the fact that the illegal growing industry involves about 40,000 people and is estimated to generate some €2 billion a year. If marijuana were fully legalized there would be no more "organized crime" in the cannabis industry whatsoever.
The Dutch marijuana identity card issue arose just as I was leaving Holland for Italy last week. I'll be filing my next column from Amsterdam and plan to catch up on the fallout from this destructive edict upon my return. Until then, I'll be enjoying my Dutch medical marijuana here on the Piazza della Repubblica and all over Florence while I'm in this amazing Renaissance city. Ciao!
—Edison Books, Florence, Italy
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