Wednesday 06 July 2022

Labour senators won’t cooperate with tough line on marijuana

Labour senators are refusing to cooperate with the government’s tough line on marijuana and want to sanction regulated production trials.

Labour senator Guusje ter Horst told television show Nieuwsuur on Thursday evening the entire soft drugs strategy needs to be overhauled. In particular, efforts need to be made to remove marijuana from organised crime.


Justice minister Ivo Opstelten has said he will not give in to pressure to allow controlled marijuana growing, despite calls for change from dozens of mayors.


Grey area


Ter Horst argues that new legislation will not change the grey area between coffee shops, where the sale of small amounts of marijuana is tolerated, and illegal mass production.


By regulating and certifying marijuana plantations for coffee shops, the government would be able to come down hard on illegal plantations, the former home affairs minister said.


Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes, who previously supported Opstelten’s tough line, says he is now in favour of ‘regulation, regulation and regulation’.


‘The minister’s position means we are closing our eyes to what happens behind the scenes,’ Hoes told the programme. ‘If we legalise that and monitor production, we will also know what is criminal and what is not.’

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