“Legal” Marijuana in Holland, Part 2

With Holland’s Coffee Shop Culture under attack from National and International Authorities, we thought it would be a prudent time to play this excellent 10 year old Dutch Documentary on the success of their compassionate drug policies.
Donner want hard line on softdrugs

‘Neighbourhoods in hands weed gangs’

By: Ap van den Berg and Ferdi Schooten

The Hague/GPD- Justice Minister Donner (CDA) wants to tighten the tolerance policy for softdrugs and bring it in line with European legislation. A confidential report shows he wants ‘a sharp decrease in the number of coffeeshops’. Donner also wants to discourage druguse and homegrowing. It has been confirmed by reliable sources around the minister.

If it was up to Donner, he will start a major offensive against illegal hemp plantations. It happens more often that criminal gangs use houses and basements in the poorer neighbourhoods, as it states in not yet published research of criminologist Prof. Dr. Frank Bovenkerk. According to Bovenkerk, the results from his report will be used ‘to reconsider the softdrugs policy critically’.
The criminologist states there are 20 neighbourhoods, spread over the whole off the Netherlands, controlled by weed gangsters.
Around 60 % of the crop is exported to foreign countries. The police usually only manages to catch the growers, mainly mothers on benefits, junks and people in great debts. The gangs, who supply for the necessary equipment, the plants, the utilities and the clipping, always escape from prosecution.

The Minister will offer his suggestions to the Parliament on short notice. Because Donner is also the informer for the new government’s formation, his prerogatives will come to order during the formation of the Cabinet.
The PvdA (The CDA’s only coalition partner) does not feel anything for a hard line on softdrugs. This party thinks the police can use its energy way better for catching crooks.
The CDA, however, fears that smoking a joint will sooner lead to a transfer to hard drugs.

The number of coffeeshops has already decreased noticeably over the last 5 years. At present, our country counts a little under 800 cannabis outlets (806,nvs) for marihuana and weed?, compared to around 1500 in 1998. The main loss of coffeeshops occurred in the big cities.
But, according to Donner, another 400 coffeeshops will have to be closed within a year, minimum. In fact, Municipalities can decide over the softdrugs policy independently.
By tightening the current policy, Donner wants to force municipalities in to complying.

By bringing the Dutch softdrugs policy more in line with the stance of the EU member states, Donner hopes to make good agreements about the smuggling of humans, terrorism protection and asylum policy.
“Some countries, amongst whom France, do not keep themselves to these agreements because of the Dutch softdrugs policy”, said a spokesman.

Source: Haarlems Dagblad, 26 Februari 2003.

Haarlem, Febr. 26, 2003.
By: Nol van Schaik, cannabis entrepreneur in Holland.

World wide attack on cannabis and its users launched!

The USA and the UN seem to have nothing else on their hands, the last couple of days, it seems, both Big U’s started an attack on the cannabis culture as such.
The saddest example is the US, as always, the DEA and other authorities have recently started a Bong offensive, meaning they have raided shops and wholesalers of paraphernalia, as bongs, pipes and rolling papers are called in general.
55 people have been arrested so far, millions worth of goods have been confiscated, and it only seems to be the beginning of another useless, countrywide attempt to stop people smoking cannabis, in bongs, that is.
It seems to have its effect, even people with cannabis related websites, based in the USA, are already giving in to this new pot terror, www.420times.com has already left cyberspace, due to fear for prosecution. I can understand the fear in the USA, a pot person does not stand a chance in any US court, as the US vs Ed Rosenthal shows, the truth about cannabis may not come out.
It is the climax of low, the US and the DEA can get away with almost anything, one might think their motto is: We lie, we deny, to prevent you from getting high!

The UN is putting pressure on the UK, by condemning Home Secretary Blunkett’s declassification of cannabis to a so-called class C substance. In fact, the declassification of cannabis in the UK will not benefit cannabis users or suppliers, the penalties for the last group will stay in class B, with a maximum penalty of 14 years. If cannabis was really completely downgraded to class C, the maximum penalty for supplying, or dealing cannabis, would have been 5 years maximum, like for supplying steroids and valium, which are in class C as well.
In real life, a pot smoker in the UK will still be prosecuted for smoking a joint, and they will still have to buy their cannabis, if available, from dealers that offer hard drugs for sale as well.
The UK’s cannabis market is secured for those who supply all sorts of drugs in the UK for decades now: Organised Crime. They already take the risk of high prison sentences, by supplying class A and B drugs, so a class C drug will not pose any higher risk for them.
Blunkett’s move monopolises organised crime, many cannabis growers in the UK consider stopping their activities after July 3, the day of the official ‘declassification’ of cannabis in the UK.
Cannabis growers in the UK will be considered suppliers; any Magistrate will tell an accused grower they could never smoke the amount they produce themselves, so they must be selling the surplus to others, making them a supplier in the eyes of the Law. The increased penalties for supplying cannabis under the new Law scare them enough to stop growing cannabis. Growing cannabis is the only weapon against organised crime, Blunkett’s move will cause this weapon to lose its ammunition. Homegrown cannabis is also the only effective weapon against soap bar hash, which will regain its ‘popularity’ when herbal cannabis will get scarce…
The UN does not talk about these implications of Blunkett’s ‘solution’ of the cannabis problem in the UK, they only read the words of the people of their stature and importance, politicians and high ranking police-officers.

The UN is also putting pressure on the Dutch government, for allowing cannabis coffeeshops to operate, as always, but this time, with a conservative Minister of Justice in Holland, in an already fallen cabinet, the new government will comply with the UN criticism, by trying to close as many coffeeshops as they can, within the limitations of the Dutch National Coffeeshop Policy.
Minister Donner’s plans for the new governments stance on coffeeshops have already leaked out, he wants to close 400 of the 800 regulated coffeeshops in the Netherlands.
The same Minister Donner that said he would not close the coffeeshops under pressure of Sweden and France, is now about to bow for the demands of the UN, by shouting out loud he will close all coffeeshops he can. Donner also admits the coffeeshops policy is up to the individual Mayor of the City or Municipality, and not a matter of the government, they only set out some shady guidelines in 1976. This means that he will have to rely on the Mayors, to get his will done, this will turn out a mayor problem for Donner, coffeeshops have been accepted as a part of society in the Municipalities they are located, without causing any problems. Coffeeshops are registered leisure companies, they can not be closed by Minister Donner, he could forbid the sales of cannabis from coffeeshops, but then, who will maintain his Law? No matter how I feel about it, if the UN and Donner manage to make the Dutch cannabis policy collaps, it will have its impact on all developments on cannabis legislation in the world, we, the coffeeshops, will finally be held up as an example, of the success of prohibition.

All together, this look like a worldwide attack on cannabis and coffeeshops, initiated by the UN and the US, who seemed to have reached agreement over the world endangering cannabis issue! The War on Cannabis has started…where is CNN?