Negative noises from the Netherlands. This from http://www.nisnews.nl/public/030606_1.htm :
Minister's Key Drugs Advisors Said Unreliable THE HAGUE, 03/06/06 - The Trimbos Institute has for years ignored warnings on the dangers of cannabis, according to radio programme Argos. The institute was deaf to the alarms sounded by police experts, various sources said Friday.
Trimbos Institute is the Health Ministry's most important advisory body on drugs policy. It periodically publishes research into trends in the use of alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, cannabis and other drugs. In its press releases, Trimbos mainly focuses on the dangers of alcohol.
Jaap de Vlieger, a police expert in Rotterdam, said on Argos that he was ejected from the office by Trimbos when he came to tell them years ago that the THC content in cannabis was horrifyingly high. "They considered that political rabble-rousing. I was told that I should go catch thieves. After that, I was taken less seriously by other police corpses in the Netherlands, even though I was right," said the police expert.
Other police experts also warned Trimbos in the 1990s that they had found cannabis with 27 percent of THC. In the 1960s and 1970s hippie years, cannabis only had 1 to 3 percent of the active ingredient. Trimbos refused to research the risks of addiction, psychoses and schizophrenia from modern cannabis, according to Argos.
Only in 2003 did Trimbos begin to acknowledge that cannabis had become very strong. Last year, cannabis contained 18 percent THC on average in the Netherlands, the institute recently reported. The police talking on Argos say they had already found stronger cannabis in 1986. They blame the high school dropout rate in the Netherlands largely on the strong cannabis.
According to another source, an "Amsterdam-type culture of 'anything goes' reigns" at Trimbos. The dangers of cocaine have also been "completely played down." According to this source, "it seems as though Trimbos staff move in circles where cocaine is used" themselves.
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