Posts

After 40 Years! Dutch Parliament Votes To Regulate Cannabis Cultivation

 

More than four decades after the decriminalization of cannabis use in the Netherlands,  the Dutch parliament finally voted to also decriminalize the cultivation of cannabis. This vote opens the way for regulation of the coffeeshop supply chain.

Regulating the slupply of weed to the coffeeshops would end an ongoing contradiction, as a coffeeshop is allowed to sell cannabis within the legally tolerated limits, but its suppliers are not allowed to grow, import or sell cannabis products to the coffeeshop: “The front door is open, but the backdoor is illegal.”

For 40 years, suppliers of coffeeshops and the coffeeshop owners have risked prosecution due to this deadlock.

The new measures were drafted by Vera Bergkamp of the liberal D66 political party, and passed 77 votes to 72. “This is an important step to end a stalemate that has lasted far too long.” Bergkamp told Dutch press.

Due to the slim margin of votes in favour of the new legislation, and the reshuffle of parliament after the 2017 general election, it’s possible that new policy maybe derailed, slowed down, or haulted. For example, present prime minister Mark Rutte, who’s liberal-conservative party is currently leading the polls, does not support the new measures.

Parliamentary Vote On Regulation Supply Chain

Four decades after the decriminalization of marijuana in the Netherlands, the Dutch parliament today finally voted on policy to regulate the weed supply chain.

The back door supply chain has been a point of debate between coffeeshops and the government for 40 years. Although coffeeshops are licensed to sell small amounts of cannabis under strict guidelines, the manufacture and delivery of the product is strictly illegal, with risk of punishment.

Under new back-door regulation policies, the coffeeshops can operate without such fear of prosecution. .also. quality control ..

It all sounds like good news but we can question the value of this vote as two weeks from now the Dutch national elections will take place and major power shifts are on Holland’s political horizon. Looking at the polls, a reshuffled parliament (and the following government) may not be able to reach the same majority needed to accualy change policy in the following term.

Coffeeshops Fight For Your Right To Party

Dutch coffeeshop owners went to court last week in a last ditch bid to block a government plan to stop foreigners from buying marijuana in the Netherlands.

Lawyers representing the coffeeshops oppose what would be the most significant change in decades to the country’s famed soft drug tolerance: turning marijuana cafes into ‘members only’ clubs open solely to Dutch residents.
Members would only be able to get into the coffee shops by registering for a ‘weed pass’, and the shops would only be allowed a maximum of 2,000 members.

The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.
Whether it will be enforced in Amsterdam remains to be seen. The city has strongly opposed the pass idea and Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says he wants to negotiate a workable compromise with the country’s Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.

Lawyers for the cafe owners told a judge at The Hague District Court that the move — aimed at reining in problems caused by foreign ‘drug tourists’ who buy marijuana in the Netherlands and resell it in neighboring countries — is “clearly discriminatory”.

Lawyer Ilonka Kamans argued that Dutch drug policy gives citizens “the fundamental right to the stimulant of their choosing” and should not deprive visiting foreigners of the same right.

Government lawyer Eric Daalder defended the measures. “Fighting criminality and drug tourism is a reasonable justification” for the crackdown, Daalder told the court. He said the government wants to bring coffeeshops back to what they were originally intended to be: “small local stores selling to local people.”

Marc Josemans of the Easy Going coffee shop in Maastricht said that if the courts April 27 ruling goes against them, the local coffee shops plan to disregard the ruling, forcing the government to prosecute one of them in a test case.
Though the weed pass policy was designed to resolve traffic problems facing southern cities, later studies have predicted that the result of the system would be a return to street dealing and an increase in petty crime — which was the reason the tolerance policy came into being in the 1970s in the first place.

Marijuana cafes are a major tourist draw for Amsterdam, with some estimates saying a third of visitors try the drug, perhaps in between visiting the Van Gogh Museum and other major attractions.

According to U.N. data, the use of marijuana by Dutch nationals is in the mid-range of norms for developed countries — higher than in Sweden or Japan but lower than in Britain, France or the United States.

Amsterdam: “The coffeeshops should remain open for everyone”

The city of Amsterdam is not happy with intention of the new Dutch government to close coffeeshops for tourist and only allow cannabis sales to Dutch citizens who have a registration card.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan thinks that problems will arise if this new system would be introduced. Unlike the towns and small cities in the South of the Netherlands, Amsterdam has no problems with the millions of cannabis-loving tourists visiting every year. But the mayor is afraid that closing the coffeeshops nationwide would drive the trade underground. “It would turn the clock back 30 years when people bought their weed in the streets and there was no control on public safety or public health”, the mayor said.