Posts

New agreement on “state weed”

No stock limit for coffeeshops and no THC limit for customers during the experiment. The test will even be extended if proven successful. But the end goal is still the creation of a nation-wide, closed supply chain which will only provide so-called ‘state weed’.

The Dutch coalition parties have reached an agreement about an experiment with legal, government controlled cannabis. As planned earlier, six to ten municipalities will be conducting trials, but an additional six to ten municipalities are used as a ‘control group’. Moreover, the test can be extended if it proves successful.

During the trial, the coffeeshops involved will be allowed to have a larger trade stock (of marijuana cultivated by the state) than the current maximum of 500 grams. There will be a choice of different types of weed for customers to choose from and there will be no limit to the amount of thc, the active substance in cannabis. Should the experiment be a success, it can be extended.

A control group has also been added to the experiment. It consists of tolerated coffeeshops in the vicinity of the municipalities involved. The same measurements are made at these shops. On the basis of this so-called zero measurement, it can then be concluded whether the test with state weed was successful.

The decision is politically sensitive. The two christian democratic parties that are part of the current coalition agreed with a limited variant, which ten municipalities would participate in. But a research committee headed by Professor André Knottnerus ruled that this group would be too small for a ‘sufficiently representative survey’. The government should keep the experiment in ‘considerably more’ municipalities than the coalition agreement says.

The Committee also concluded that if the trial is a success, a national introduction of ‘state cannabis’ should be considered. The Cabinet does not want to do so for the time being, but the possibility to extend the trial does leave the door open.

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.

The Latest Chapter In The Dutch Cannabis Saga: A New Hope

After current Prime Minister of the Netherlands Marke Rutte handed in his governments resignation to Queen Beatrix this April, the general election has been moved forward to 12 September this year.
It is Rutte’s administration that introduced the widely criticised ‘weed pass’ in the southern three provinces in the Netherlands.

With less than a month to go until the elections, the Dutch Socialist Party (SP), lead by Emile Roemer, is ahead in the polls by seven seats of Mark Rutte’s Conservative Liberal Party (VVD).

The SP campaign program states that they want to legalize and regulate the cannabis industry, with the view that there is more merit in prevention by educating and informing the public of the effects of alcohol and drug use.

Just a few of their promises to the Dutch voter:

Better information on the effects of alcohol and drug use for youth and their parents.
The cultivation and sale of soft drugs for the Dutch market legalized and regulated to reduce nuisance and crime. Quality controle and education need to be improved. We do not need a ‘weed pass’. Sales and production of hard drugs remain illegal.
There needs to be a greater awareness of the consequences of alcohol and drug use for youth and their parents. Clinics offer aftercare to young people hospitalized with alcohol poisoning.

The gap between these two parties and all their opponents is growing, and predictions are being made of a race to the finish by these two extremes of cannabis legislators.

In less than a month the future of cannabis in the Netherlands may well be determined!