Coalition backs total ban on hashish, marijuana exports exaggerated

A majority of MPs back a total ban on the sale of hashish because foreign crime gangs profit from importing the drug into the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.


The ruling VVD is set to propose a ban to justice minister Ivo Opstelten, and is supported by the Christian Democrats and the anti-Islam PVV, the paper says.
The VVD wants to stop the sale of hashish – compressed resin from the marijuana plant – because it is mainly smuggled in from countries such as Afghanistan and Morocco.
Smugglers
‘It comes from countries where we do not want to be associated with facilitating criminal organisations,’ VVD parliamentarian Ard van der Steur told the paper. ‘It is ridiculous that customs officers do all they can to prevent imports but once the drug is in the country, it can be sold.’
Under Dutch drug laws, people may have up to five grammes of hashish or marijuana for personal use. Soft drugs may be bought and sold in licenced cannabis cafes known as coffee shops.
Dutch-grown
Meanwhile, figures used by the police to state 80% of the Dutch home-grown marijuana production is exported to other countries are exaggerated, according to television current affairs show KRO Reporter International.
The police claim some 500 tonnes of Dutch marijuana are exported every year, with a street value of some €2.4bn. The figures come from a 2006 report.
However, the programme claims police believe total production to be anywhere from 323 tonnes to 766 tonnes a year and that officials have no clue about how much is actually exported.
In addition, the report states it is extremely unlikely 80% of Dutch marijuana production is exported because so little is found in neighbouring countries, the programme said.