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Leeuwarden mayor wants to ban 'too strong' marijuana

Monday 13 September 2010

Marijuana and hashish which is considered to be too strong could soon be banned in Leeuwarden, if local mayor Ferd Crone has his way, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Crone has submitted a proposal to the city council which would see coffee shops eventually lose their licence if they sell marijuana with more than an agreed level of the active ingredient THC.

The THC level in marijuana and hashish has doubled over the past few years - from 10% to around 20%. But some samples tested by Trimbos institute have turned up a THC level of 64.8%, the paper says.


'The only thing which still has to be determined is the official limit,' Crone said. In addition, he said, it was not clear if implementing the change would require national legislation.

'We have a policy of turning a blind eye to soft drug use so we can regulate and monitor it,' he said. 'But that does not work anymore. The level of THC has been going up for years and I am increasingly reading about the damage caused to people by soft drugs usage who have psychotic episodes because of smoking. That is why I want to have this discussion.'


Leeuwarden cannabis cafe owner Gerrit-Jan ten Bloemendal told the paper the plan was well meant but impossible to enforce. There is no evidence stronger levels of THC are worse for health, he said. 'If you know something is strong, you smoke less,' he told the paper.

Neverthess, from a consumer's point of view it would be useful to be able to add THC percentage to the product information, as happens with alcohol, Ten Bloemendal said.

The Netherlands turns an official blind eye to the possession of up to five grams of marijuana for personal use. Cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops, are allowed to have up to 500 grams on their premises.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Stating the exact THC or CBD, etc., content would be a good idea but ... Please, leave the Coffeeshop "Apotheeks" that we patients have to go to, or are 'prescribed' by our Drs to go to, alone ..we have to go to them, due the to poorly choosen inappropraite varieties, low quality, poor pain & spasm relief and the excessive cost of the Ministry Approved prescribed versions.

The Dutch Health Ministry banned an effective and efficient prescribed version that was 52% THC .... but it was made in a forgien country, contained small amount of alcohol and ... "we have a better Dutch version in Holland!".

Would Love to get this better version!
If it can be found!

By Gerard | 13 September 2010 8:39 AM

Why is it always about banning?! Ban BAN BAN!!!! Start controlling you testosterone - be smart - tax it. We know how to deal with strong alcohol without banning it, right? How come soft drugs "problem" is so different?

By Vlad | 13 September 2010 9:31 AM

Seems like a good intention to protect consumers, but banning the stronger herbs is not the answer. Will they ban strong alcohol such as liquor as well, and only allow beer and wine? Some people are looking for these stronger strains of marijuana just like some people prefer liquor over beer and wine (by the way, does anyone know which strain had the 64% THC content? WOW!). I do however agree with adding a THC percentage to the product information. I think most people are curious about this information anyway, and this would help people prevent from becoming "too high".

By Broseph | 13 September 2010 10:27 AM

I agree to all the three comments above. Bravo. Count me in. If one puff is strong enough I won't need two weaker puffs.

By alex | 13 September 2010 4:29 PM

It sounds like the typical politicians trick which has been to go on about the minimal evidence that it might bring about schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to it.

Even though he knows the THC content has gone down, why bring it up now?

It's just more and more political pressure.

The funny thing is, cannabis has probably prevented way more mental health issues that it might have created.

Hopefully this policy will not spread. They seem to get away with a lot on these grounds. This is how cannabis got reclassified in the UK from class C back to B. Any excuse to further criminalise the masses and get their DNA.

By Wietroker | 13 September 2010 5:27 PM

Here we go again. The suppliers can't leave well alone! They are sneaking in stronger product. Once discovered, you can expect a reaction (or overreaction) from the people who are trying to control it to some degree. So, what else is new?

By KenM | 13 September 2010 7:45 PM

Anything that clarifies what you're actually buying and ingesting or smoking or otherwise consuming is a good thing.

The thing about cannabinoids, though, which is probably beyond the understanding of this Ferd Crone chap, is that there's no way of knowing what combinations of which will do what to whom. Reducing THC without really understanding how it works with the other sixty or seventy-odd cannabinoids present in and unique to cannabis doesn't really make much sense. Why does this mayor-chap want to do this?

Doesn't he understand what the other chap, Gerrit-Jan ten Bloemendal, said: 'Experienced consumers know how to (auto-)titrate their consumption.' ("If you know something is strong, you smoke less.")?

By McD | 14 September 2010 4:31 PM

Most people don't seem to understand that the higher the %'age of THC, the less most people will consume to get to their appropraite level. The people who get down on this issue, are stupid ideologues with no clue.

By BallyHoo | 19 September 2010 10:00 PM

Thats odd, because most folks in holland mix their weed with tobacco to set the strength of their spliff, they all want to smoke the same size piece, 50/50 mix = medium buzz, 10/90 mix = light buzz, 100% weed = crazy americans!!! Tourist joke printed on postcards, this is already known, tell the mayor dutch folks already take care of this factor! Idiot!

By Dutchman | 21 September 2010 1:59 AM

A higher THC level just means that there is less vegetable material which contains tars and all sorts of inactive ingredients that are not good for your lungs. The safest way to smoke is to vaporize the THC and with that method you are only inhaling THC. That's like smoking(as opposed to vaporizing)a 100% mixture of THC, CBD etc. This law is like banning 12% beer because it's too strong.

By Curt | 26 September 2010 4:39 PM

But nobody knows exactly how marijuana gets you high. The Big Pharma companies have been trying to patent the active drug in the marijuana plant and they cant. So if they cant say what makes it do what it does how can some mayor from Leeuwarden say that its the THC content thats the problem. If this was true then THC would be patented and it isnt because THC dont get you high on its own so there must be other things in the plant working with the THC. I wish the people in charge of making drug policy would do a little of their own research. Whats the most sold drug in the Netherlands? Must be alcohol or nicotine both of which are taxed but more importantly accepted. Every new law or regulation that gets handed down the line to us at the front is just another method of either taking our money or taking our freedom or both. The smoking ban in pubs and restaraunts was all for the health benefits. Really, so why not ban cigarettes. Pretty easy to do but not a wise financial decision for any government to take. So it has nothing to do with health. Bullshit hypocracy. And stop nannying us!

By langer | 27 September 2010 10:20 AM

That is completely incorrect. We know that THC is the active ingredient in cannibis. We know how it works. And Big Pharma already manufactures and sells the pure form, under the brand names Marinol and Sativex.
Next time, you could perhaps spend 30 seconds using Google before you post to avoid sounding ignorant.

By Eirinn | 27 September 2010 5:54 PM

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