Tuesday 19 November 2019

Regulated marijuana trial must not encourage use, ministers say

The government experiment with regulated marijuana cultivation must not give the impression that the state is encouraging the use of the drug, the ministers responsible for the trial have told MPs in a briefing.

‘On the contrary, using cannabis can lead to acute health problems, such as accidents, panic attacks and psychotic episodes,’ the ministers said. ‘It can also lead to addiction and lung problems, partly due to the way it is inhaled in combination with tobacco.’

For this reason, the ministers said, all the packaging will carry a compulsory health warning and there will be leaflets inside the packets with further warnings, health minister Bruno Bruins and justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said.

The packaging should not be attractive and the THC-CBD levels in the drug should be indicated as well, the ministers said.

In addition, all cannabis cafe personnel will have to go on a compulsory course to be able to identify problematic behaviour and direct users to organisations which can help.

Trials

Ten local authorities, including Tilburg, Breda and Almere, are taking part in the trials, which are due to start in 2021.

But the four big cities, including Amsterdam were most coffee shops are located, have said they will not join in. In particular they are unhappy that all coffee shops will have to take part.

The aim of the experiment, which will see a number of growers licenced to produce a range of marijuana products, is to remove the grey area between coffee shops, which have permits, and the illegal circuit of suppliers.

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