Decriminalization as Regulation: The Gambling and Cannabis Markets in the Netherlands

7 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2013  

Toine Spapens

Tilburg University, Law School; Police Academy of the Netherlands

Date Written: July 15, 2012

Abstract

Decriminalizing an illegal market may be a useful strategy for reducing crime. It is also necessary, however, to have a clear understanding of the nature of the illegal market before undertaking such an endeavor. Experiences in the Netherlands show that decriminalizing illegal markets may indeed result in a substantial reduction of organized crime and other criminal activities, if the regulatory system is designed adequately. These experiences also show that such systems inherently lack flexibility and that criminals are usually quick to re-enter the market when unforeseen developments, particularly technical innovations and internationalization, create new illegal business opportunities.

Keywords: regulation, illegal markets, narcotic drugs, gambling

Suggested Citation

Spapens, Toine, Decriminalization as Regulation: The Gambling and Cannabis Markets in the Netherlands (July 15, 2012). Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 05/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2107654 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2107654

Toine Spapens (Contact Author)

Tilburg University, Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Police Academy of the Netherlands ( email )

7334 AC Apeldoorn
Netherlands

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