Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Cultivation of Dutch-grown cannabis (“Nederwiet”) is extensive. In July 2008, the Justice and Interior Ministers established a task force to combat the criminal organizations behind cannabis plantations. In June 2011, the Cabinet approved measures to reduce drug-related nuisance and drug tourism. The Cabinet proposed that coffeeshops become private clubs for the local market only accessible to Dutch citizens upon display of their ID’s. A maximum ceiling will be set on membership per individual coffeeshop.
 The Dutch Opium Act punishes possession, commercial distribution, production, import, and export of all illicit drugs. Drug use, however, is not an offense. The act distinguishes between "hard" drugs that have "unacceptable" risks (e.g., heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy) and "soft" drugs (cannabis products). One of the main aims of this policy is to separate the markets for soft and hard drugs so that soft drug users are less likely to come into contact with hard drugs. Sales of small quantities (under five grams) of cannabis products are tolerated in "coffeeshops" operating under strict conditions and controls. The United States continues to disagree with this aspect of Dutch drug policy.
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