The Netherlands has the “characteristics of a narco-state”, the chairman of the largest Dutch police union has said.
Jan Struijs said: “Sure we’re not Mexico. We don’t have 14,400 murders. But if you look at the infrastructure, the big money earned by organised crime, the parallel economy. Yes, we have a narco-state.”
The country is considered a global hub for synthetic drugs, such as crystal meth and LSD, producing £16bn worth of the drugs in 2017.
Struijs said: “Lawyers, mayors, police officers – we’ve all been threatened by organised crime. All the alarms have been sounding but the politicians have been naïve. Now it’s rotting the concrete of our society.”
A previous report commissioned by the mayor of Amsterdam described the city as a “Valhalla for drugs criminals”.
One poll found that 59 per cent of Dutch people believe the country is dependent on its illegal drug trade.
Last year, a mental health nurse in the UK called upon his profession to speak out about the serious damage cannabis causes to lives.
Peter Hurst, a registered mental health nurse for over ten years, said that legalising the substance merely “endorses and normalises the idea that the drug is safe, which it isn’t”.
He rejected the suggestion that cannabis is a “mild, harmless, benign” drug, and warned that if it is legalised “the worst affected will be those already living at the margins of society”.
The Government has repeatedly said that it “has no plans to decriminalise drug possession”.