Saturday 08 August 2020

Right-wingers, Christians and populists oppose marijuana regulation

police marijuanaA narrow majority of MPs oppose any efforts to introduce some form of regulated marijuana cultivation in the Netherlands, to head off the involvement of organised crime, the Volkskrant says on Tuesday.

On Monday, the local authority association VNG urged the government to set up a licencing system to supply the country’s cannabis cafes, where small amounts of soft drugs can be bought and sold.

‘The current situation cannot continue,’ Monday’s report states. ‘As local officials, we are experiencing major social problems.’

‘By turning a blind eye [to marijuana], the government is giving criminals free rein to sell their products. The cannabis industry is closely entwined with organised crime, which is also involved in ecstasy and human trafficking,’ the report says.

In addition, officials say they are very concerned about attempts by organised crime to influence local government.

However, in May 75 of the 150 Dutch MPs voted for a motion ruling out any form of regulated supply and that position is likely to be unchanged, the paper says.

The Christian Democrat MP, Peter Oskam, who drew up that motion, is shortly to become mayor of Capelle aan den IJssel, where an illegal plantation was recently dismantled.

The motion was supported by the CDA, ruling VVD, the anti-Islam PVV and small Christian parties.

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