For the past seven years, the country’s top narcotics authorities have used phrases such as “an unmitigated disaster” and “fundamentally irrational” to describe the permissive approach the Dutch have toward drugs. Most recently, the Bush administration has been waging a public battle with Dutch authorities, criticizing cannabis cafes that target foreigners and ecstasy factories supplying drugs to Americans, reports the Washington Post.
That apparently has now changed. The U.S. and Netherlands announced they had signed an agreement for reducing drug use. In an instant, seven years of acrimony was history amid handshakes, smiles and warm words. “What an entertaining pairing,” said Peter Reuter, a drug policy expert at the University of Maryland, who said he was surprised by the move. Although there has been closer cooperation since 2003 with a bilateral program known as “Agreed Steps,” President Bush said in his most recent annual report to Congress that the Netherlands remained a “dominant source country” for “club drugs.” The reason for the sudden love-in? The administration drug chief and his new Dutch best friend had bonded over a new high-potency form of marijuana, known as THC.