Politics As Usual (But Thank Goodness We’re Stoned)

17 September 2012: A week after the Dutch national election, two opposing parties are rejoicing victory, although with the mutual bitter pill of being bound to work together. The conservative-liberal VVD (the party that introduced the infamous ‘weed pass’ in the south Netherlands), have won alongside the social-democratic PvdA, a party in favor of cannabis legalization.

Out of a total number of seats around 150, the parties form an 80-seat majority coalition, meaning that soon they will have to have come to an agreement on cannabis policy, despite their vastly differing views on one of the most hotly contended issues of this election. The PvdA has a policy that most smokers will love. They wish to abolish the current (confusing) legal state of marijuana: out with toleration, and in with legalization. The coffeeshops of modern day Holland would give way to as-yet undefined weed shops, with the premise being similar regulations to that of tobacco and alcohol.

In another boost to the hopes of the liberalization of cannabis in the Netherlands, Onno Hoes, Mayor of Maastricht (the first city in the south to introduce the restrictive weed pass laws), has changed his mind on the issue, since the policies met resistance from locals, and increased street-level drug dealing in the city. The VVD may be questioning the regulations it once proposed, and with the progressive changes of the PvdA also on the table, this is definitely an interesting time in the story of Dutch weed law.