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  1. Most Dutch councils ignore ban on marijuana sales to tourists

    18 February 2014
    Other news

    Tourists are still able to buy marijuana in 85% of the Netherlands' cannabis cafes despite the national ban on selling soft drugs to non-residents, according to Tilburg University researcher Nicole Maalsté. Most local authorities have incorporated the ban into their local bylaws but do nothing to enforce it. However, non-residents are excluded from coffee shops in 23 of the 103 local council areas with licenced cannabis cafes. These are mainly in the southern regions.

  2. 35 mayors call for regulated marijuana production; minister says no

    30 January 2014
    Other news

    In total, 35 local authorities have signed a manifesto calling on the government to sanction official experiments with legal marijuana production. The council leaders argue regulated growing would end the grey area between semi-legalised sales in cannabis cafes and illegal supply by criminal gangs. The signatories include the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht and Groningen. 'The current situation is unsustainable,' said Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.

  3. Labour senators won't cooperate with tough line on marijuana

    27 June 2014
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    Labour senators are refusing to cooperate with the Dutch government's tough line on marijuana and want to sanction regulated production trials. Senator Guusje ter Horst told television show Nieuwsuur that 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.

  4. Heerlen mayor criticises government marijuana policy

    07 July 2014
    Other news

    The Dutch government's cannabis policy has created a monster whose tentacles are spreading throughout the country, according to Paul Depla the mayor of Heerlen. Depla, one of 35 mayors who want production of marijuana to be legalised, said that government policy is making it far too easy for people to become criminals. 'Under the current policy, all you need is an attic and you can start growing marijuana,' Depla said. 'This has created a monster with tentacles that reach everywhere.'

  5. Court sides with coffeeshops in dispute over 'back door' deals

    03 July 2014
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    Three coffeeshops who had nearly 70 kilos of cannabis confiscated have avoided prosecution after a court ruled police had tacitly endorsed their activities. Officially coffeeshops are limited to a stockpile of 500 grams. The appeal court in The Hague found that the owners had co-operated throughout with police, the local council and the tax office, all of whom knew the coffeeshops had far more than the permitted amount in stock.

  6. Coffee shop trial is test for Dutch drugs policy

    16 March 2009
    Other news

    The owner and several employees of the biggest coffee shop in the Netherlands are being prosecuted for membership of a criminal organisation. The outcome of the trial can have a huge impact on soft drugs policy in the Netherlands. If Meddy Willemsen, the owner of the mega coffee shop Checkpoint in Terneuzen, is convicted of encouraging illegal cannabis cultivation and running an organised supply chain, more proprietors of coffee shops could face prosecution as gang leaders. (See also: Owner of massive cannabis café cleared of most charges on appeal)

  7. European court weighs cannabis ban for foreigners

    02 May 2010
    Other news

    A Dutch city has banned foreigners from its cannabis selling coffee shops. A European court will now decide whether this is legal. The continuing struggle of Dutch border towns against drug tourism could soon take a new turn, as the European Court of Justice (ECJ) prepares to hand down a ruling regarding one of the most severe measures employed in this battle so far. The ECJ heard arguments in Josemans v. Maastricht. (See also: Court backs Dutch ruling on coffee shops)

  8. Most marijuana grown in the Netherlands is exported, new research shows

    16 December 2014
    Other news

    Between 78% and 91% of marijuana grown in the Netherlands is exported, according to new justice ministry research. This makes it pointless to regulate marijuana production for sale in licenced cannabis cafes within the Netherlands because illegal growing will continue, Justice minister Opstelten said in a briefing to Parliament. (See for a critical view: The 80% myth revisited)

  9. MPs block cities from harvesting marijuana

    19 May 2015
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    A narrow majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament in the Netherlands, supported a motion to not allow municipalities to experiment with cannabis cultivation: 75 parliamentarians voted for, 70 voted against.

  10. Utrecht hopes to set up cannabis clubs - for medical research

    16 April 2013
    Other news

    Two foundations in Utrecht are to apply for exemption from the opium laws so they can set up ‘cannabis clubs’ to grow marijuana for medical research with city council backing, the Volkskrant reports. Council alderman Victor Everhardt, who is behind the plans, hopes his ‘cannabis club’ concept can become a reality on public health grounds. (See also: Utrecht wants 'cannabis clubs' to be allowed to grow drug for medical research)

  11. coffeeshop-mississippi

    Police raid Maastricht coffeeshops after owners let tourists back in

    07 May 2013
    Other news

    Police have raided several coffeeshops in Maastricht after their owners indicated they would revert to selling soft drugs to foreign visitors. Coffeeshops said on Sunday that German and Belgian customers would no longer be turned away, despite warnings from the city’s mayor Onno Hoes of repercussions if they let foreigners in. The police raided the Mississippi, a floating coffee shop, on Monday night. Around 15 non-Dutch residents were inside the boat at the time. Police led away the owner and confiscated the ship’s supplies. (See also: Maastricht coffee shop faces three-month closure)

  12. D66 devises plan to regulate Dutch marijuana production

    26 February 2015
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    Liberal democratic party D66 is introducing draft legislation to regulate the production and sale of marijuana in the Netherlands.

  13. D.C. vs. Amsterdam: The Dutch strike back!

    25 February 2015
    Other news

    When Mayor Muriel E. Bowser delivered her legalized marijuana guidelines, she tried to ease concerns of naysayers with promises that there are enough provisions to prevent things from getting out of hand.

  14. Models for the legal supply of cannabis

    27 May 2013

    Three United Nations Conventions provide the international legal framework on drug control, instructing countries to limit drug supply and use to medical and scientific purposes. Yet, debate continues on the decriminalisation, or even legalisation, of drugs, particularly cannabis. Models under development for the legal supply of cannabis are described in this analysis, as well as some of the questions they raise.

    Part of the ‘Perspectives on drugs’ (PODs) series, launched alongside the annual European Drug Report, these designed-for-the-web interactive analyses aim to provide deeper insights into a selection of important issues.

    Download PDF version

  15. Cannabis pass abolished? Not really

    Tom Blickman
    30 October 2012
    Article

    The new coalition government of conservative liberals (VVD) and social-democrats (PvdA) presented its coalition agreement on Monday. They agreed to abolish the cannabis pass, but access to coffeeshops remains limited to residents of the Netherlands. Customers need to identify themselves with an identity card or a residence permit together with a certificate of residence. Non-resident foreigners are still banned. In other words, there will be no cannabis pass, but the policy continues.

  16. van-gijzel

    Councils join forces to call for legalised marijuana production

    20 December 2013
    Other news

    The mayors of 25 Dutch local authority areas have increased their pressure on the cabinet to allow experiments with regulated marijuana production. The initiative is being powered by the mayors of Eindhoven and Heerlen and a Utrecht alderman, the Volkskrant said. The manifesto is a reaction to justice minister Ivo Opstelten’s decision not to approve experiments with regulated growing. (See also: The Netherlands is ready to regulate cannabis)

  17. Amsterdam city council calls for licenced marijuana production

    07 November 2014
    Other news

    Ministers should sanction experiments to legally grow marijuana under licence and the city should make preparations to do so, according to a majority of Amsterdam city councillors. All VVD councillors in the city back the move. The VVD's position in Amsterdam is notable because VVD justice minister Ivo Opstelten has said repeatedly he does not favour regulated production and refused to sanction experiments. Meanwhile, the upper house of parliament came a step nearer to approving legislation which will make people who have helped illegal marijuana growers guilty of a criminal act. (See also: Coffeeshops want say in Amsterdam marijuana production)

  18. The Return of the Underground Retail Cannabis Market?

    Dirk J. Korf, Marije Wouters, Annemieke Benschop
    27 March 2012
    Other news

    The sale of cannabis to persons aged 18 or older is permitted in the Netherlands under certain conditions in commercial establishments called coffeeshops. The present Dutch government has proposed that access to coffeeshops be restricted to persons holding a cannabis ID, a mandatory membership card known colloquially as a ‘weed pass’ (wietpas). Recent interviews with 66 Amsterdam coffeeshop owners reveal that they expect mainly detrimental effects from the proposed measure.

  19. Will banning marijuana sales to foreigners hurt Holland's economy?

    26 April 2012
    Other news

    The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, understandably opposes the ban: Roughly a third of the four million foreign tourists who visit the city each year smoke marijuana in the local coffee shops. Ten percent of tourists who visit Holland do so exclusively for the pot. The cafes do $2.6 billion in business a year, generating $503 million in tax revenue.

  20. Dutch elections: the battle for the stoner vote

    08 September 2012
    Other news

    When the Netherlands goes to the polls on Wednesday, the result could hinge on one, previously overlooked section of the electorate: the stoner vote. More than 350 Dutch coffee shops have thrown their weight behind a grassroots campaign in support of the leftwing Socialist Party (SP), which has pledged to end the political crackdown on shops that sell marijuana. The stakes are high: many believe that the parliamentary elections will be make-or-break day for the Dutch coffee shops.

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