Source: [Dutch News
27 April 2013
Councils up pressure for legal cannabis production
At least 10 of the Netherlands’ local councils have already or will soon
submit plans to the justice ministry asking to be allowed to approve
commercial marijuana growing.
Research by newspaper Trouw showed that councils are highly critical of
official government policy on marijuana and say legalised production would
remove organised crime from the equation.
‘Marijuana does not fall from the sky,’ Heerlen mayor Paul Depla told the
paper. ‘If the minister wants to tackle illegal plantations, then the
government has to take over growing marijuana itself.’
Venlo, Zwijndrecht, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and
The Hague have all called for regulated growing, Trouw said.
In addition, 19 of the 40 local authority areas contacted by Trouw are not
implementing government policy which states tourists have to be refused
entry to coffee shops – the cafes where small amounts of cannabis can be
bought for personal use.
Since January 1, coffee shops are required by law to ensure only official
residents of the Netherlands are allowed to buy cannabis products.
However, the legislation gives scope for ‘local circumstances’ to be taken
New research published by the Trimbos addiction research clinic at the
weekend showed the Dutch are moderate cannabis users compared with some
other EU countries.
Intensive Dutch users go through 310 grammes in a year, just under the
average in the seven countries investigated. England and Wales topped the
list with 374 grammes a year.
Dutch use of cannabis is low across all age-groups, Trimbos researcher
Franz Trautmann told RTL news.
‘It is a little higher than the European average among youngsters but
lower among adults,’ he said. ‘In other words, our policy of turning a
blind eye does no lead to more usage. Youngsters experiment but then lots
of them stop.’
The research also showed nine out of 10 Dutch cannabis users mix their
marijuana with tobacco. By contrast, 30% of Bulgarians, Czechs and Britons
smoke the drug neat.
Just 9% of Dutch marijuana users said they can access hard drugs via their
regular supplier – usually dealers who hang around in coffee shops. In the
other countries, between 25% and 50% of marijuana users said their regular
dealers also sold other drugs.