Coffeeshop trial is test for Dutch drugs policy

1 04 2009

The owner and several employees of the biggest coffee shop in the Netherlands are being prosecuted for membership of a criminal organisation.

coffeeshop checkpoint

The outcome of the trial can have a huge impact on soft drugs policy in the Netherlands. If Meddy Willemsen, the owner of the mega coffee shop Checkpoint in Terneuzen, is convicted of encouraging illegal cannabis cultivation and running an organised supply chain, more proprietors of coffee shops could face prosecution as gang leaders.

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Fox News?

15 12 2008

We know one half of the “news” on Fox is made-up and the other half is just too silly to even take serious, but we thought it was necessary to show you this segment of the Bill O’Reilly show. Anyone who has ever been to Amsterdam knows these so-called experts have either never been, are lying or both. Still it is sad that a story as ridiculous as this can be broadcast on American television.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Just some facts to prove that the “naive” ideas the Dutch have, as Margaret Hoover so elegantly puts it, clearly do work.

“The amount of coffeeshops has been on the decline ever since 2000. The amount of 16 to 34 years people that has used cocaine in the last 12 months is about one percent in the Netherlands. Compared with the UK (5.4), Spain (5.2) and the US (3.4) this is very low. The use of cannabis is also low in the Netherlands compared to most other countries. The use of cannabis in Holland is 10 percent, compared to Spain (20), the US (19), France (17) and the UK (16) this number clearly shows the cannabis policy in the Netherlands does work.

It seems that Fox News needs to get it’s facts straight, assuming that they care at all about the facts.

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Dutch police to crack down on cannabis export

22 10 2008

Source: NRC.nl Photo: Flip Fransen

Last saturday the Dutch newspaper NRC handelsblad published an interview with the head of the Dutch cannabis task force Max Daniel. Obviously the original interview in the newspaper was in Dutch, however NRC has been so kind to provide an version for their English audience.

This interview is very interesting because it seems to hold a negative opinion about cannabis and the way the Dutch decriminalisation system works. By doing so however, it presents an excellent case for the legalisation of cannabis.

Mr. Daniel points out in this interview that the Dutch cannabis trade is largely controlled by organised crime and that he is planning to crack down on these organisations. At the same time he also points out that it is not his intention to close any of the coffeeshops.

As many of you may know coffeeshops are allowed to sell a maximum of 5 grams of cannabis per person to the consumer. At the same time the supply side of these coffeeshops is still illegal. As Mr. Daniel emphasises he wants to stop criminals at the supply side of the cofffeeshop. How is he going to achieve this without closing the coffeeshops? There seems to be somewhat of a contradiction in his statements?

There is only one way to achieve this and that is to fully regulate the market, both supply to and from coffeeshops should be legal and regulated, this is the only way to effectively prevent criminal organisations from taking part in the cannabis trade in the Netherlands.

Another interesting point is the figure below on Dutch cannabis exports. How do they estimate this figure? Are all the tourist that buy cannabis in a coffeeshop and smoke it in the Netherlands included in these export figures? If they are not, they should be, as by definition this is export too. Does that mean the Dutch government, who taxes the sales in coffeeshops, is part of this “criminal” conspiracy to export Cannabis?

Police to crack down on cannabis export

Source: NRC.nl Published: 20 October 2008

Dutch cannabis growers earn around 2 billion euros from exporting marijuana to the rest of the world every year, says police commissioner Max Daniel who heads a task force set up by the government this summer. An interview with the police chief who has been appointed to crack down on criminal organisations involved in the illegal trade.

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The municipality of Maastricht on the Dutch drug policy

25 06 2008

The municipality of Maastricht (city in the south of the Netherlands) have posted a very good article about the Dutch drug policy on their website. Click here to read the whole article.

The Netherlands’ policy is good for public health because it results in relatively few cannabis users and only a small percentage who switch to hard drugs. It is bad for society as a whole because production and distribution are in the hands of organised crime.

We can combat that by controlling not only the sale and consumption of cannabis, but also its cultivation and distribution, subject to strict conditions. Read the rest of this entry »








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