Dutch Plan to Ban Potent Marijuana From Cannabis Cafes

Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten told parliament last week that the government intends to classify marijuana with a THC content of 15% or more as a Class A drug like heroin and cocaine and bar it from being sold in the country’s famous cannabis coffee shops. Opstelten did not say when the new policy would go into effect, although he did say it would happen “quickly.”

And there is some question over whether it actually will go into effect. Opstelten has been justice minister under the conservative coalition that governed until losing elections in September, but that conservative government has now had to enter into a new coalition with the more marijuana-friendly Labor Party.

One result of the new coalition has been the national-level abandonment of the “weed pass” program aimed at excluding foreigners from the coffee shops. It remains to be seen whether the new coalition government and the parliament will go along with treating potent marijuana like heroin or cocaine.

“Hard drugs have no place in the coffee shops and in the future they will only be able to offer cannabis with a THC level of below 15%,” Opstelten told MPs.

Coffee shop owners aren’t waiting to express their concerns with the proposed move. Barring potent marijuana from the coffee shops will just push it onto the streets, they said.

“Weak weed in the coffee shops, strong weed on the streets — then the choice is pretty clear,” said Marc Josemans, a spokesman for the Maastricht coffee shop owners. “It makes it harder for society. A user smokes less, just as people don’t drink rum out of a beer glass.”

About 80% of the marijuana sold in Dutch coffee shops is weed whose potency is 15% or higher.

Although marijuana formally remains illegal in the Netherlands, the country has tolerated the coffee house system since the 1970s and currently allows purchasers to buy up to five grams. There are an estimated 500 or so coffee houses in the country.

– Article from StoptheDrugWar.org.



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  2. thomas vesely on

    another fail coming up.
    just leave it be as is.
    shake the NEED to control.
    grow up…………

  3. mario on

    Just another idea that is hardly realistic without dealing with the real problem. The backdoor. Production and provision of cannabis to coffeeshops. You can’t ask coffeeshops to have their weed tested by a lab, the lab would be part of a criminal organisation.

  4. Mrs. RatsRectum on

    You can’t have quasi-regulated cannabis such as the Dutch coffeshop system without a back door problem.

    You can’t have quasi-regulated cannabis via coffeeshops, then bar anyone who doesn’t want to sign up for a pass, residents and non residents, and expect there not to be a marked increase in street dealing and black market sales.

    I mean shit, you’ve just defeated the whole purpose of having the BIBOB test (search term in Dutch: BIBOB-toets) and the separation of soft drugs (cannabis and hashish) from hard drugs such as crack, meth, heroin, etc.!

    Wietpas, otherwise known as shitpas, waste of money, brainfart.

    So the limit is going to be cannabis with 15% potency, and people who don’t want a lot of smoke and want fewer and smaller hits to reduce any harm to their lungs are still going to have to get it in the underground? So people are not going to buy the 15% stuff and use it to make hashish that by volume will be more than 15% because it’s been separated from the vegetable matter, i.e. the trichomes have been separated from the undesirable plant matter and concentrated?

    Can you say (mini) pollinator? Can you say within an hour hash?

    The only sensible suggestion is that coffeeshops indicate the potency, but not to ban something more than 15% but so that the customer has more information, such as is the case in U.S. MMJ shops. It could be voluntary or a tax deduction for the coffeeshops for the costs of the testing for Dutch MMJ patients who want to buy there. Everyone knows the Dutch government’s grow medical marijuana did not turn out all that well. You could get all the details from Wernard Bruining if you don’t believe me.

    Opstelten should be implementing what Wernard Bruining and Nol van Schaik and others want instead of pulling this shit.

    Maybe he could get some kind of high potency tax out of the coffeeshop community? Maybe he could come to an agreement with the coffeeshop community about how much bud a customer can purchase at a time and how much hash (a lesser amount possbibly) a customer can buy at one time. In any case, Opstelten should be talking with, not to, and implementing what the coffeeshop community wants.

    Why go in the hardline direction of the prohibitionists!


  5. Anonymous on

    I dont get it. They are not going to sell hash anymore ?

  6. Anonymous on

    I dont get it. They are not going to sell hash anymore ?