Pubdate: Oct 11, 1999
Source: Japan Times
Copyright: © 1999 Japan Times
Netherlands considers loosening cannabis law
THE HAGUE (AFP-Jiji)
Twenty Dutch Municipal councils Saturday called on the government to
permit the cultivation of cannabis in order to decriminalize the
supply chain to coffee shops.
Supplying cannabis to coffee shops is illegal, while the sale of small
amounts of the weed has been "tolerated" by law enforcers for years.
In a letter addressed to the Cabinet on Saturday and signed by 20 mayors
of towns and cities in the Netherlands, the Drugs Policy Association
called for an end to this confusing policy and the experimental
"toleration" of cannabis cultivation.
Justice Minister Benk Korthals, a free-market liberal, promised to include
the committee's findings when he considers a new white paper on drugs
legislation in spring 2000, according to Tilburg Mayor Jan Stekelenburg,
one of the signatories to the letter.
Stekelenburg said that criminals are finding more and more ways to control
the supply of cannabis to coffee shops.
However, Dutch Premier Wim Kok on Friday reiterated his stance on drugs
policy in a television interview on the Dutch weekly political news
program Den Haag Vandaag.
"I would tend to say: there have to be very serious arguments for the
Netherlands to move further away from the rest of Europe in its legal
approach," Kok said.
He can expect to be confronted about the Dutch soft drugs policy when he
meets his French counterpart Lionel Jospin during an official visit to
Paris this Monday and Tuesday.
However, Kok said that he intended to discuss other important European
issues in Paris, rather than "once again picking in the navel of drugs