Tom Blickman

Researcher, TNI Drugs and Democracy Programme

Tom Blickman

Tom Blickman (1957) is a Senior Project Officer at the Transnational Institute (TNI), based in Amsterdam. Since 1997, he has been working for TNI's Drugs & Democracy Programme, specializing in international drug control policy and the UN conventions, drug markets, alternative development, money laundering and organised crime. More recently he is closely following cannabis regulation policies in Europe and elsewhere. Tom is a regular speaker at international policy conferences and advises on developments in the drugs field. He is co-editor of the TNI Drug Policy Briefing series.


Major publications

Cannabis regulation and the International and European frameworks, presentation at the side event "The green wave hits Europe: Recent cannabis regulation initiatives in Europe", 65th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), 15 march 2022

•  Cannabis control approaches across Europe, EMCDDA webinar, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), 27 October 2021

A Sustainable Future for Cannabis Farmers: ‘Alternative Development’ Opportunities in the Legal Cannabis Market, (co-authored with Martin Jelsma, Sylvia Kay, Pien Metaal, Nicolás Martínez Rivera & Dania Putri), Transnational Institute (TNI), April 2021

Developing a new national MDMA policy: Results of a multi-decision multi-criterion decision analysis, (co-author) Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2021, Vol. 35(5) 537–546. (See also: Will XTC-Shops replace dealers in the future? )

City-level policies of regulating cannabis in Europe: From pilot projects to 'local customization'? (co-authored with Katie Sandwell) in: Tom Decorte, Simon Lenton, and Chris Wilkins (eds.), Legalizing Cannabis: Experiences, Lessons and Scenarios. UK: Routledge (2020).

Nieuwe war on drugs is volkomen zinloos. Zonder regulering van de drugsmarkt zal de aanpak van de georganiseerde misdaad mislukken, OpEd in de Volkskrant, 3 september 2019 (English version: A new ‘war on drugs’ is short sighted and naive, Dutch News, 16 September 2019)

Cannabis in the City: Bottom-up policy reform for cannabis regulation (co-authored with Katie Sandwell), TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 51, March 2019

Cannabis in the City: Developments in local cannabis regulation in Europe (co-authored with Katie Sandwell & Dania Putri), Transnational Institute, March 2019

The Elephant in the Room: Cannabis in the International Drug Control Regime, in: Axel Klein, Blaine Stothard (ed.) (2018). Collapse of the Global Order on Drugs: From UNGASS 2016 to Review 2019, Emerald Publishing, pp.101 - 131

Seek drug reform within international law: Tom Blickman, interview in the Delhi Post, October 1, 2018

Meer blauw helpt niet om het drugsprobleem te tackelen, OpEd in Trouw, September 13, 2018

Fair Trade Hasj, Presentation at Cannabis Reguleren in de Praktijk, May 2, 2018

Yes, legalizing marijuana breaks treaties. We can deal with that, Ipolitics, December 11, 2017 (co-authored with John Walsh, Dave Bewley-Taylor, Martin Jelsma)

Letter in response to John Collins, “Losing UNGASS? Lessons from civil society, past and present", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 17 No. 3, September 2017, pp. 143-144.

Morocco and Cannabis: Reduction, containment or acceptance, Drug Policy Briefing Nr 49, March 2017

Nederland is klaar om te reguleren; nu de landelijke politiek nog, Socialisme & Democratie, Jaargang 73, Nummer 4, Augustus 2016

The Battle over the Backdoor, presentation at the panel What Can Be Learned from The Dutch Coffee Shop System at the Cannabis Science and Policy Summit 2016, New York City, April 17-18, 2016

Cannabis in Indonesia: Patterns in consumption, production, and policies, Drug Policy Briefing Nr 44, January 2016 (co-authored with Dania Putri)

Hoogste tijd voor een nationaal wietakkoord, OpEd in Trouw, December 17, 2015

El caso Holandés: Una regulación incompleta (notas de la presentación), presentación al Seminario internacional Políticas de drogas en América Latina en el proceso de debate hacia UNGASS 2016: Convergencias posibles, FES Seguridad, Quito, 28 de julio, 2015

Reguleer wiet, en niet alleen de achterdeur, TNI weblog, February 25, 2015

Cannabis policy reform in Europe: Bottom up rather than top down, Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies No. 28, December 2014

Internationaal recht en cannabis - Rondetafelgesprek coffeeshopbeleid Commissie Veiligheid en Justitie, May 15, 2014 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma)

Bouncing Back: Relapse in the Golden Triangle, Transnational Institute, May 2014 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma, Tom Kramer & Ernestien Jensema)

The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition: The History of Cannabis in the UN Drug Control System and Options For Reform, Transnational Institute / Global Drugs Policy Observatory, March 2014 (co-authored with Dave Bewley-Taylor and Martin Jelsma)

The Netherlands is ready to regulate cannabis - The only obstacle is the current minister of Justice, TNI weblog, December 19, 2013 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma)

Majority of the Dutch favour cannabis legalisation - Restrictive government cannabis policies are defied by local initiatives and court rulings, TNI weblog, October 4, 2013

Deficiencies in financial oversight enable money laundering - After nearly 25 year of failed efforts, experts still ponder how to implement an anti-money laundering regime that works, TNI weblog, May 15, 2013

Cannabis to substitute crack - A step by step rehabilitation, TNI weblog, April 22, 2013

Wij zijn schijnheilig over cocakauwen, NRC Handelsblad, January 17, 2013 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma)

Objections to Bolivia's reservation to allow coca chewing in the UN conventions - The United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Canada notified their objections, TNI weblog, January 4, 2013

Cannabis pass abolished? Not really - Half-baked compromise in Dutch government coalition agreement continues disastrous coffeeshop policy, TNI weblog, October 30, 2012

The Dutch 2012 election result and the coffeeshops - The future of the Dutch coffeeshops is in the hands of the liberal-conservative party, TNI weblog, September 14, 2012

Government opposes Copenhagen City Council on cannabis shops - In Parliament majority in favour of decriminalization unlikely, TNI weblog, May 28, 2012

Hollande will not go Dutch on cannabis - No major changes expected on drug policy in France, TNI weblog, May 17, 2012

Copenhagen wants controlled cannabis shops - Regulating the cannabis market after a failed attempt to re-criminalise, TNI weblog, January 9, 2012

Legal cannabis in Basque Country? - Confusion about the regulation of cannabis social clubs, TNI weblog, December 16, 2011

Cannabis social club activists in Spain liberated, TNI weblog, November 18, 2011

ATS and Harm Reduction - Findings from a workshop in Burma/Myanmar, TNI weblog, November 4, 2011

Dutch government to ban tourists from cannabis shops? TNI weblog, June 28, 2011

• Policies to prevent addiction, presentation at: International Seminar “La lucha contra el crimen organizado: hacia una estrategia integral”, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) & Colectivo de Análisis de la Seguridad con Democracia CASEDE, Mexico City, April 4-5 2011

Amphetamine Type Stimulants and Harm Reduction: Experiences from Myanmar, Thailand and Southern China, TNI Drug Policy Briefing nr. 37, October 2011.
The briefing was written for the Workshop on ATS and Harm Reduction, organized by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Burnet Institute, in Yangon, October 13-14, 2011; and incorporated information from the TNI Expert Seminar on ATS and Harm Reduction, in Kunming (Yunnan, China), November 26-27, 2010.

Introduction: Human Insecurity and Markets of Violence, in: The Impact of Militia Actions on Public Security Policies in Rio de Janeiro, TNI Crime & Globalisation Debate Paper, March 2010

Countering illicit and unregulated money flows: Money laundering, tax evasion and financial regulation, TNI Crime & Globalisation Debate Paper, December 2009
This paper is a follow-up to the seminar on Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Financial Regulation organized by the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam, June 12-13, 2007, which brought together experts on money laundering and tax justice.

Mexican trafficking in the global context, presentation at: The Mexican connection: Drug trafficking, the state and society in contemporary Mexico, XV Día de Mexicanistas, Mexican Studies Centre, Faculty of Humanities, University of Groningen, November 19-20, 2009

¿Qué sabemos acerca de las dimensiones del mercado de la cocaína? in: La economía de las drogas ilícitas: Escenarios de conflictos y derechos humanos, Colectivo Maloka (ed.), Materiales de Paz y Derechos Humanos 11, Barcelona: September 2009.

Drug Policy Reform in Practice: Experiences with alternatives in Europe and the US (co-author with Martin Jelsma). A shortened Spanish version of this article was published under the title La reforma de las políticas de drogas, Experiencias alternativas en Europa y Estados Unidos, in Nueva Sociedad No 222, July-August 2009

Harvesting trees to make ecstasy drug, The Irrawaddy, February 2009

The ATS Boom in Southeast Asia, in: Withdrawal Symptoms in the Golden Triangle: A Drug Market in Disarray, (co-edited with Tom Kramer and Martin Jelsma), Amsterdam: Transnational Institute, January 2009

TNI and the UNGASS: From zero tolerance to harm reduction, in: Ten Years - TNI Drugs & Democracy Programme 1998-2008, Transnational Institute, July 2008

Políticas globales frente a las economías ilegales: El caso del blanqueo de dinero, in: Capitalismo criminal: Ensayos críticos, Colección estudios políticos y sociales, Bogotá (Colombia): Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Departamento de Ciencias Políticas, February 2008

'Paco' Under Scrutiny: The cocaine base paste market in the Southern Cone, (co-author), TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper nr. 14, October 2006 (See also: Smokeable cocaine and crack in Brazil: A quick scan of the market, TNI research paper, October 2006)

The UNGASS Evaluation Process Evaluated, (co-authored with Dave Bewley-Taylor), IDPC Briefing Paper Nr. 1, May 2006

Seminar report of the TNI Expert Seminar Global Enforcement Regimes: Transnational Organised Crime, International Terrorism and Money Laundering, Amsterdam, April 28-29, 2005

The ecstasy industry in the Netherlands in a global perspective, in: The organised crime economy: Managing crime markets in Europe, Petrus C. van Duyne, Klaus von Lampe, Maarten van Dijck & James L. Newell (eds.), Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2005

The Ecstasy Industry: Exploring the Global Market, TNI Crime & Globalisation Debate Paper, December 2004

Seminar report of the TNI Expert Seminar The Economic Impact of the Illicit Drug Industry, Amsterdam, December 5-6, 2003

Synthetic Drug Trafficking in Amsterdam, (editor and co-author), in: Synthetic Drugs Trafficking in Three European Cities: Major Trends and the Involvement of Organised Crime, Turin: Gruppo Abele/TNI/IECAH, March 2003

European cannabis policies under attack, TNI Briefing, April 2002

Nederland heeft niets te zoeken in Colombia, de Volkskrant, July 19, 2001

Een verkeerde stap in een foutieve richting: Forward Operating Locations on Aruba and Curaçao, Transnational Institute, October 1999

Nederland dient VS-bases van Antillen te weren, NRC Handelsblad, April 21, 1999 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma)

Lessons To Learn (co-authored with Ken Bluestone), The World Today (Volume 54, Issue 6), June 1998

Caught in the Crossfire: Developing countries, the UNDCP, and the war on drugs, Joint publication of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR), June 1998

Verenigde Naties blijven eenzijdig kiezen voor een repressief drugsbeleid, NRC Handelsblad, May 27, 1998 (co-authored with Martin Jelsma)

The Rothschilds of the Mafia on Aruba, Transnational Organized Crime, Vol. 3, No. 2, Summer 1997




  • Email
    tblick [at]
  • Telephone
    +31 20 662 6608
  • Languages spoken
    English, Spanish, Dutch
  • Areas of expertise
    International Drug Control Policy, Transnational Organised Crime, Global Enforcement Regimes, Money Laundering