Liberal Dutch Marijuana Policy Taking Another Hit?
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Liberal Dutch Marijuana Policy Taking Another Hit?
Posted by CN Staff on November 18, 2010 at 11:08:27 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Amsterdam -- The new conservative Dutch government wants to force the country's marijuana cafes to become "members only" clubs, a move that would effectively block foreigners from buying the drug.If the idea ever becomes reality  it would be legally complicated and politically divisive  it would be the latest of the country's liberal policies to be scrapped or curtailed as the Dutch rethink the limits of their famed tolerance.
While marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, it has been sold openly in designated cafes for decades, and police make no arrests for possession of small amounts.Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said that in the future, only residents of Dutch cities will be allowed to purchase cannabis. "Not tourists. We don't like that," he said on state television in remarks broadcast Wednesday.His spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Thursday Opstelten intended to "give a political signal." He said details of the plan are still being worked out and it will be presented to parliament sometime next year."This Cabinet wants to bring marijuana cafes back to what they were once intended to be: for people who live in the immediate area, not large-scale criminal trade and not tourism," he said.The city of Amsterdam, which has an image as a haven for weed smokers and potentially stands to lose a major tourist attraction if the policy is enforced, is not enthusiastic about the proposal."We're looking at it now, considering it, and a formal response is coming," said spokesman Bas Bruijn.Last year, then-Mayor Job Cohen said he feared a system requiring users to obtain passes "risks increasing street trade and 'illegal' sales points."Marijuana cafe owners scoffed at the idea of member passes as political posturing and unworkable in practice. "It's not going to happen," said Michael Veling, spokesman for the Union of Cannabis Retailers and owner of the 4:20 cafe in Amsterdam."I'm not worried because I have something in my head that's called common sense."He predicted it will prove difficult for the government to make rules regulating marijuana cafes without first legalizing marijuana.European law forbids treating citizens of one European Union country different from that of another, and marijuana shop owners will have difficulty knowing who is a local resident without access to city government databases.The new Dutch government that took office in October is comprised of two conservative parties with the support of the far-right anti-Islam party of populist Geert Wilders.Crime, immigration and safety issues have dominated Dutch political debate for a decade, leading to measures such as imprisoning asylum seekers, outlawing psychedelic mushrooms, mandating citizenship classes for immigrants and forcing people to carry ID cards.Amsterdam has resisted enforcing some of the conservative trends. For instance, it rejected a 2008 ban on marijuana cafes near schools that would have led to the closure of nearly all the bars, commonly known as "coffee shops."But it has accepted others. In 2006, the city shut down a third of its legal brothels, saying they were a magnet for criminals.Amsterdam's new mayor Eberhard van der Laan was the most prominent among Dutch municipal leaders this month in attempting to enforce a new nationwide law criminalizing "squatting" in unoccupied buildings.Dutch marijuana policy has been a sore point in relations with the U.S. and Europe over the years, and increasingly within the country itself. Dutch cities in the far south complain they suffer from crime caused by the illicit marijuana trade as German, Belgian and French dealers drive to border towns such as Maastricht to purchase supplies.According to U.N. data, the use of marijuana by Dutch nationals is in the mid-range of norms for developed countries  higher than in Sweden or Japan but lower than in Britain, France or the United States.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: November 18, 2010 Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on November 19, 2010 at 16:38:34 PT
thanks Doc the date made for the film was 2010
have you watched caught the link ad saying they are running the show on the 24 of Nov but i cant seem to find any time of day its to be i asked Howard who is on the cover with Misty if he knew anything about it but he did not.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on November 19, 2010 at 11:05:08 PT
Stan White in the Wall Street Journal!
A Sure Way to Stop Drug Cartel Murders
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Comment #4 posted by DrDunkleosteus on November 19, 2010 at 01:32:30 PT:
You can watch that documentary in its entirety for free at topdocs: of other good docs on cannabis on that site too.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on November 18, 2010 at 18:31:50 PT
History Ch just had a doc on marijuana 
a segment of which was on the Dutch experiment.
The documentary said the world wide tourism from the cannabis coffee shops was in the billions of euros.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on November 18, 2010 at 16:29:15 PT:
For a people whose life's blood is
international trade, this was a particularly dumb move. But Holland is beset by its' home-grown version of neocons, led by Bilderberg Group member Balkenende. Whenever these clowns take over, things go to Hell rapidly. Just look at the US for the best example of neocon rule. In eight years, they trashed the economy courtesy of banksterism, 2 illegal and immoral wars and drunken-sailor spending. They have the reverse Midas Touch, destroying everything of value in order to control anything of value.The Dutch will learn to their sorrow that they have cut off their noses to spite their faces. A lot of tourists will now stay away from the Netherlands, and in these times, the least little amount of lost income can have devastating consequences to a nation's economy - as we will learn this holiday season; hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists are staying home rather than be subjected to the tender mercies of the TSA goons at airports.It will become very clear just how much of a role that cannabis plays in international economics, regardless of its' legal status. And I posit that it will be a very painful lesson indeed... 
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on November 18, 2010 at 14:54:14 PT
Holland is deciding to push cannabis back to the underground black market? I guess they see the great success black market drugs have had on Mexico and the US, huh?huh?
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