Friday, November 21, 2008

Dutch town to condone cannabis farm

Radio Netherlands

The Dutch town of Eindhoven is going to allow a farm to grow cannabis. Though the farm will be under municipal supervision, the growing of marijuana will remain illegal. The pilot experiment was agreed at a meeting of more than 30 Dutch municipalities aimed at discussing the sale of soft-drugs such as marijuana and hashish.

A number of mayors is unhappy about the ongoing drugs tourism attracted by coffee shops and the nuisance they cause. Two towns near the Belgian border recently closed all coffee shops. Just before the summit, Amsterdam announced it was shutting 43 coffee shops which under new government norms are too close to schools. The summit discussed the possibility of legalising the growing of weed, which is currently illegal, and ways of discouraging drugs tourism.

- Radio Netherlands: Dutch town to condone cannabis farm
- Wikipedia: Drug Policy of the Netherlands


Anonymous said...

No, they did not close the coffeeshops...they are planning to do so by Feb 2009. Thing is it takes years to effect changes in the Netherlands, and if these two towns are able to do what they plan on the time-line they have, which is doubtful, other towns will feel its effects, and they will complain to the Government and to these cities.
Closing coffeeshops is not the only solution to the problems being complained about. Towns on the German border have erected freeway-side coffeeshops, which are owned by the city and leased to a coffeeshop entrepreneur in order to derve the German clientele without making them come into town, where there are parking and traffic problems. This has worked well in city of Venlo, and Maastricht's mayor, a member of the ruling CDA party who is bucking the CDA/government harassment of the coffeeshops, is doing the same for his community as Venlo has done. Although the Belgian government has protested the movement of several coffeeshops to the Belgian Border with the Netherlands within Maastricht, as the city boundary touches this border over a length of 5 km or so. Moving the coffeeshops or a portion thereof 2 KM to the west of the center of the city is all that is proposed. It is also LEGAL under Belgian law introduced in 2003 for Belgians to cross into Holland to buy their weed and return with it. So the Belgian government is kind of being laughed at by all.

The real problem, however, is not the coffeeshops in Holland, but rather the lack of freedom in Belgium, France, and Germany to buy and smoke cannabis.

The mayor of Maastricht, Geert Leers, often says, "let's talk about why there is demand in YOUR country for cannabis. When you can control this demand (in France, Germany and Belgium, or allow it to be satisfied in your own countries, you will be taking advantage of the Dutch system. For every cannabis user who buys at a Dutch coffeeshop does not support organized crime and drug trafficking in their own country and community.

The Czech republic is in the processes of decriminalizing personal use amounts of all drugs including cannabis, as is Mexico. Portugal and Spain have already done so, and the UN's review of their 1998 plan for a Drug Free World (exclusive of pharmaceutical drugs of course), and the report's title, "Cannabis: Moving beyond the stalemate," is in fact an admission that cannabis users have won the war, despite the best efforts of law enforcement and its unions, the lack of effect of the several hundred billion dollars spent to keep people only on booze and away from everything else, and the 10s of millions of people arrested and incarcerated, with their lives and livelihoods and families destroyed since 1961, and the adoption of UN's first Single Convention on Narcotics Abuse and Control.

This and its companion documents from 1971 and 1986 must be abandoned. Then European countries surrounding the Netherlands will be able to let their people be free, instead of allowing a bunch of politicians who are so powerless at this moment, they are able to do nothing of import. So they are harassing the coffeeshops in order to make it look like they are doing something.

But they are only, and I mean JP Balkenende and the 2 Christian parties controlling the Netherlands, and Geert Wilders and his party inaptly named the "Freedom Party," able to assuage their anger over the choices other people make regarding cannabis at this time. For the government is in a gridlock situation, and as such is only able to make changes along the Fringe. The issue, "distance of coffeeshops from schools," which does not care about proximity of bars, pubs and liquor stores to these same schools, has been a part of the Governing Agreement, which is the document by which the government is run after election of a coalition, since 2003.

Have the coffeeshops closed? No.

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