Dealing with drugs - Cities and the quest for regulation


Dealing with drugs - Cities and the quest for regulation

13 December 2023
Mayor of Amsterdam

Registration here

Together with many cities in the world, the beautiful city of Amsterdam struggles with the effects of drug-related crime. Therefore, as mayor of Amsterdam, I organise the international conference ‘Dealing with Drugs – Cities and the quest for regulation’. The objective of this conference is to explore how -and not if- further regulation of the drug market can provide a solution, and which steps can be taken towards a more realistic approach of drug policy. This conference will take place on January 26, 2024, at the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Illegal drug trafficking poses a significant threat to cities all over the world. In Amsterdam it threatens our rule of law. The city grapples with daylight assassinations, explosions, cases of mistaken identity murders and fatal attacks on lawyers and journalists. The ruthlessness in which these crimes occur is shocking.

Cities worldwide face similar challenges. For decades, a global war on drugs has been waged. Unfortunately, the path we tread has proven insufficient: drug production and consumption continue to rise, illegal financial flows persist, violence remains unchecked, human rights are violated, and successive generations of youth are drawn into criminality, while the safety net wears thin.

Although victories are achieved in the war on drugs through the diligent investigative work of our partners, the battle is never fully won. This recognition extends beyond academic circles to include former politicians, policymakers and law enforcement.

I advocate a realistic drug policy. This conference represents our first step in that direction. By engaging in candid conversations with international experts, experienced individuals, NGOs and scholars, we aim to move beyond the question of whether regulation can be a solution and focus on how it can be achieved. I invite you to join us to and explore alternative approaches, learn from international experiences, overcome challenges and consider the role that cities can play.

I am looking forward to welcoming you at this conference.

Yours sincerely

Femke Halsema
Mayor - City of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Date26 January 2024

Related Profiles