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Is the Netherlands Close to the Legalization of Marijuana?

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Authorized coffee shops are allowed to sell marijuana in Netherlands and police authorities aren’t obstructing these transactions. Buying small portion from these shops have been tolerated for a long time now. However, how come the selling and cultivation of marijuana in Netherlands is still illegal?

Coffee Shops in Netherlands

Licensed coffee shops are allowed to sell small amount of marijuana in Netherlands. They still have policies that needed to be followed in order to keep their place open. Authorities will not shut down the place as long as they do not sell cannabis to 18 years old and younger customers. They are also not allowed to vend alcohol together with hard drugs to minors. Selling bigger portions of marijuana is also not allowed inside the establishments.

The idea of coffee shops selling marijuana in Netherlands has been introduced to them in the 1970s. Its purpose is to separate soft and hard drugs. Since the establishments aren’t allowed to sell large amounts or even grow the plant, they have problems where will they get the product for their business. This causes illegal trades which they call “back door problems”. It is one of the matters that their administration is looking into for the legalization of marijuana in Netherlands.

Some tourists come to Netherlands specifically to visit coffee shops and try to bring home some cannabis. Since then, tourists are legally banned from entering these coffee shops to avoid drug trafficking. It is a rule that was released by a Dutch judge and it was implemented in 2012. Although, this rule isn’t implemented in large cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam.

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The Issue of Legalization in Netherlands

The legislation of marijuana in Netherlands was released by Vera Bergkamp of the D66 political party. She stated that it is not okay that you can buy weed but you can’t grow it. She concluded that if it is legalized, they will be able to control criminality and many will benefit from its medicinal properties.

A research conducted by Radboud University is backing up Vera Bergkamp’s conclusions. According to them, it will be beneficial for the human rights and public health. They claimed that the production of illegal marijuana in Netherlands is linked to noise and environmental pollution, criminal violence, and fires. However, some of the Dutch lawmakers do not support this claim. Ard van der Steur, the Dutch Minister for Justice, said that there are no reasons to change their law. He also stated that there is no concrete evidence that the legalization of marijuana will lower down the crime rate.

The Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, said that if pot is legalized, it will be easier to stop people from using it. He stated that there is no fun in using marijuana if it is being tolerated. This is also a common saying for activists or supporters of the legalization of marijuana. If it’s legal, people will no longer experience the rush of seeking a way to buy some. However, it still doesn’t mean that it does resolve the criminal and addiction issues either.

Police authorities conduct up to 5,000cannabis raids every year. In some instances, they were able to discover 1,200 illegally grown marijuana. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said that they already learned to deal with the back door problem, as well as with the small illegal transactions that has been happening. However, he also stated that it doesn’t mean that he is not trying to change the said trades. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan is one of the Dutch mayors who signed the petition for the legalization of cannabis in the Netherlands.

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The New Law

A slight majority of the lower house of Dutch Parliament is in favor of legalizing weeds in Netherlands. The New Law they were proposing consists of the rules and regulations, which if approved, could be the end to the issue that the Netherlands has been experiencing for a long time now. One of the regulations is about letting coffee shops buy marijuana from licensed growers.

In addition, producers will have to be checked by the government officials. They also have to meet clear conditions prior to distributing them to retailers.

Although the lower house of Dutch Parliament agrees with the legalization, it still needs to be approved by the upper house or the First Chamber. Even though the chances of it of being approved is not clear, people are still optimistic that a lot will support this movement. Sooner or later, they will be able to get the answer for the legalization of cannabis in the Netherlands.