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  1. trdofbeingtrd
    Dutch move to ban some drug sales

    1297240859914_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x A Dutch woman smokes a cannabis cigarette in a coffee shop in Amsterdam. (REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters)

    AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands moved to ban the sale of potent hashish cannabis on Thursday, eroding 40 years of liberal drug policy, over fears that the proceeds were flowing to organised crime gangs.
    A parliamentary proposal to prohibit the sale of hashish resin in the Netherlands’ famous coffee shops had the backing of both parties in the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition. The sale of marijuana, the dried bud and leaves of the cannabis plant, will not be affected.
    “Almost all of the hash that is sold in Dutch coffee shops is smuggled into the Netherlands by international criminal gangs from countries like Afghanistan, Morocco and Lebanon,” said Ard van der Steur, a member of the ruling Liberal Party.
    The ban on ’hash’, derived from the potent TCH crystals on marijuana buds, will likely be in force by the end of 2013 and possibly sooner if changes to the law are swiftly implemented, he said.
    The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world where marijuana and hash are sold openly, but moves to crackdown on its sale have risen under the conservative government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
    Another of those backing a ban, Christian Democrat legislator Coskun Coruz, said he hoped the ban would reduce consumption.
    Studies show marijuana use in the Netherlands is roughly half that of the United States, where it is illegal.
    Hash smokers in Amsterdam doubted a ban would cut use of the drug and said it would be hard to enforce.
    “I know enough people to buy hash from if it is banned from coffee shops. I’m sure I’m not going to smoke less,” 19-year-old Tommie van den Wouden said as he waited in line to order hash at one coffee shop in Amsterdam.
    Ulrich, who works at a coffee shop, said about 40 percent of revenue came from hash sales but coffee shops would not be the only losers.
    “If I can’t sell hash any more, my customers will buy it on the street. This will also lead to declining tax income for the state,” he said.
    “I am surprised about these politicians saying they want to ban hash because of links with organised crime, because exactly the same goes for marijuana. The only difference is that most hash comes from abroad, while marijuana is grown locally.”
    As part of the crackdown, the Netherlands has introduced compulsory membership cards for coffee shops in the south of the country to deter drug tourists from Belgium, France and Germany. The rules came into effect in January but will not be enforced until May.
    The government hopes to implement the measure nationwide, a move which would effectively herald the end of the Netherlands’ position as a pot smokers’ paradise.
    While the sale of marijuana and hash is tolerated in the Netherlands, cultivating commercial supplies is illegal, making it complicated for coffee shop owners to acquire stock.

    Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/01/dutch-move-to-ban-some-drug-sales
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Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Coalition backs total ban on hashish, marijuana exports exaggerated

    A majority of MPs back a total ban on the sale of hashish because foreign crime gangs profit from importing the drug into the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.

    The ruling VVD is set to propose a ban to justice minister Ivo Opstelten, and is supported by the Christian Democrats and the anti-Islam PVV, the paper says.

    The VVD wants to stop the sale of hashish - compressed resin from the marijuana plant - because it is mainly smuggled in from countries such as Afghanistan and Morocco.

    Smugglers

    'It comes from countries where we do not want to be associated with facilitating criminal organisations,' VVD parliamentarian Ard van der Steur told the paper. 'It is ridiculous that customs officers do all they can to prevent imports but once the drug is in the country, it can be sold.'

    Under Dutch drug laws, people may have up to five grammes of hashish or marijuana for personal use. Soft drugs may be bought and sold in licenced cannabis cafes known as coffee shops.

    Dutch-grown

    Meanwhile, figures used by the police to state 80% of the Dutch home-grown marijuana production is exported to other countries are exaggerated, according to television current affairs show KRO Reporter International.

    The police claim some 500 tonnes of Dutch marijuana are exported every year, with a street value of some €2.4bn. The figures come from a 2006 report.

    However, the programme claims police believe total production to be anywhere from 323 tonnes to 766 tonnes a year and that officials have no clue about how much is actually exported.

    In addition, the report states it is extremely unlikely 80% of Dutch marijuana production is exported because so little is found in neighbouring countries, the programme said.


    Thursday 01 March 2012

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/03/coalition_backs_total_ban_on_h.php
  2. Alfa
    They royally admit that this is just another stab at coffeeshops, which they would prefer to close down. But since this is not possible, they just try to limit coffeeshops in any way they can.
    This decision comes at the same time that they are also banning cannabis with more than 15% of THC (while coffeeshops can not measure THC content), introduce a membership registration for coffeeshop customers, limit the number of members to 2000 per coffeeshop, and ban hydrophonic stores / growshops.
  3. Doctor Who
    I'm very sad to see such a progressive country taking such a backward step in it's drug policy! It is sure to Increase the amount of money going to criminal organizations, due to the rise in prices ( and sales outside of coffee shops ) as soon as ban takes effect! You'd think those in positions of responsibility would learn this lesson by now, but NO, they continue to make the same old mistakes over & over! I have several friends who live there & I only hope the Dutch people will organize some kind of opposition to this madness before you end up back in the Dark Ages like we who live in the U.S. & most everywhere else!
    PEACE!
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