| | | Effective PR

Thailand, Weed and Banking (3)

This is article 3 in a series. Read :
Part 1: here
Part 2: here
Further Reading: here

Switzerland is a single country with "Cantons" which have a degree of autonomy but far less than states within the EU. The reason for looking at Zurich and the Netherlands together is this: no one yet knows the position relating to direct flights between the two. Will carrying personal quantities be legal? Will it depend on what airlines are used - because airlines in flight are, in law, the jurisdiction of their jurisdiction of registration. Will Zurich become a banking destination of choice for Dutch pot dealers? Will Swiss banks become subject to additional levels of suspicion or due diligence in the international banking arena?

That has not happened to Dutch banks and money in a Dutch bank is not, generally, regarded as potentially more subject to suspicion than money in, say, a German bank. In Germany, recreational use of cannabis is illegal - but in June this year, Germany's Health Minister Karl Lauterbach started a series of hearings with a view to presenting a Bill within a short period to "liberalise" the recreational use of weed. It's a ship that sailed long ago in Berlin which has been a destination for pot users for decades - but much of the rest of the country being much more straight-laced the move to a national liberalisation policy is something of a surprise.

There is no EU-wide policy on the use, possession or dealing in cannabis and while there is a general collective tut-tutting, it is clear that insofar as there might be a widely held view, it is far from unanimous. There is a clear opportunity for cross-border trade outside the EU.

But it is the open borders under the Schengen Agreement that will be the real reason that the legalisation juggernaut will gather speed: quite simply, with no border controls, unless there is a specific reason for checks, once weed is legal in one state that is a member of the Schengen area, it will spread in a more or less uncontrolled manner leaving enforcement to be a matter for local law enforcement in those countries which maintain a ban - and to take action in relation to proceeds of the illegal import and distribution of cannabis and cannabis products.

Which brings us to the third situation: that in ASEAN. See Part 4.

---------------- Advertising ----------------

Nigel Morris-Co...