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Legal cannabis cultivation in Netherlands to test organized crime impact

By Janene Pieters on October 9, 2017 - 11:20

Cannabis plants
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flowering_Cannabis_Plants.JPG. Impression of a cannabis plantation. (Cannabis Training University/ Wikimedia)

The new Dutch government is planning an experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, to see if this legal cultivation will decrease organized crime and increase the safety of cannabis in the country. In the experiment, the government will give one organization a government license to grow cannabis, which will be distributed in six to 10 municipalities, RTL Nieuws reports.


Which organization will grow the government cannabis, and how exactly will be handled, is not yet clear. Municipalities can sign up for the experiment. The intention is that mainly large and medium sized municipalities take part.



Under current Dutch law, it is legal for coffeeshops to sell cannabis, but it is illegal to buy and cultivate the drugs, according to RTL. In practice it means that coffeeshops buy their supply through criminals, which presents a lot of danger and problems. 


In addition to decreasing organized crime, the new government also hopes that this legally cultivated weed will have benefits for public health. Illegally grown cannabis may contain harmful substances, as no one regulates it. 


This experiment can be considered a breakthrough. Dutch municipalities have long been advocating for experimenting with regulated cannabis cultivation. The four parties in the government formation process are divided on the issue. The D66 has always been for regulating this. The VVD always spoke out against it in parliament, though a majority of VVD members voted for regulated cultivation at the party congress last year. The two Christian parties - CDA and ChristenUnie - are against it, saying that the government must do everything in its power to keep addictive substances out of society, according to RTL.








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Rotterdam may experiment with "municipal weed" in new cannabis policy

By Janene Pieters

November 2, 2017

Ahmed Abou Taleb
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb

Rotterdam plans to soon start growing its own "municipal weed", mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said on Wednesday. The Rotterdam mayor already spoke to new Justice Minister


Ferdinand Grapperhaus about participating in the new government's regulated cannabis cultivation experiment. "I was one of the first mayors to talk to Minister of Justice Grapperhaus. We would love to be the first test municipality", he said when announcing Rotterdam's new cannabis policy in the city hall, AD reports.


Aboutaleb's "municipal weed" plan has been ready for some time, according to AD. But Rotterdam was unable to implement it, because - until now - the national government was always against regulated cannabis cultivation. 



If it is up to the Rotterdam mayor, not only the production of cannabis will change in his city, but also the distribution. According to him, it is not at all obvious that coffeeshops will continue to be the main distribution point for cannabis. "The question is whether the phenomenon coffeeshop will still be needed in the future", he said in the Rotterdam city hall on Wednesday. He thinks other forms of distribution will be better. "Order online, and then get it delivered by bona fide package deliverers. Or through a vending machine."

In this way, the mayor hopes to be better able to guarantee the quality of cannabis. "With coffeeshops it is often not pure coffee", he said, according to the newspaper. 





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Dont you love it, when governments monopolize products in the name of our safety, instead of making laws that make retailers responsible for quality control. Why don't the hypocritical bastards be honest and say, were taking over, because every one else is now legalizing Cannabis around the planet and our country wont be condemned as much bye other governments for legalizing or becoming involved in Cannabis, and we want to make more money and control the price, for increased tax revenue.

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Amsterdam's Leidseplein reopens after major renovation

By Janene Pieters on November 3, 2017 - 14:50

Artist rendering of the renewed Leidseplein in Amstedam
Artist rendering of the renewed Leidseplein in Amstedam.

The first half of the Leidseplein renovations are done, and alderman Pieter Litjens will officially re-open the popular Amsterdam entertainment district on Friday afternoon. On Monday, the new taxi stand on Leidsebrug will also be taken in use.


The goal for the renovations to the Amsterdam district - which involved pouring around 2 thousand tons of asphalt and 1,5000 m3 of concrete on Stadshouderskade, Leidsebrug and Marnixstraat over the past 18 months - was to reduce car traffic and increase atmosphere. The GVB also laid 1.5 kilos of new tram tracks. From Monday the square will be car-free and pedestrians and cyclists can use the entire space. From January, only electric taxis will be allowed to use the new taxi stand on Leidsebrug.



"The work at Leidseplein has been very disruptive for everyone who goes there, lives there or works there. Day in and day out, hard work was done and with results. The square has become much more attractive", Litjens said in a press release. "Next year we will start with the reconstruction of the Klein Gartmansplantsoen and te construction of the underground bicycle storage facility with 2,000 places. Once completed, Leidseplein will be completely ready for the future."


Litjens is officially re-opening the Leidseplein at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. To celebrate the completion of the new square, several festivities were arranged on the square on Saturday November 25th, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. These festivities, arranged along with entrepreneurs and cultural institutions, include music performances, guided tours and several activities for kids organized by the contractors and Stadshout Amsterdam. 





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Dutch councils queue up for regulated marijuana project

November 7, 2017   




So far 25 of the Netherlands’ 380 local authorities have come forward to say they wish to take part in trials to regulate marijuana production, broadcaster NOS said on Tuesday



The new government plans to set up experiments to grow marijuana in eight to 10 places in the coming years.


While officials turn a blind eye to the sale of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, how the drug ends up in licenced coffee shops remains a grey area.


Dozens of local authorities have for years argued for licenced production to remove drugs gangs from the entire chain. The local authorities association VNG also recommended regulated production in 2015.

Among those councils which have come forward are Breda, the Noord-Brabant town of Cuijk, and Rotterdam, where mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wants the experiment to cover distribution as well.


Breda mayor Paul Depla told NOS he hopes that the government will opt for as many different sorts of production plan as possible ‘so we can choose the best one for regulated growing,’ he said.



Depla has long campaigned for formalised marijuana growing. ‘Everyone can see that the current policy is bankrupt,’ he told NOS radio. ‘You can buy and sell but how it gets into the cafes is a mystery. And that does not make sense.’


The government is expected to announce where the trials will take place next year.


The police dismantled 5,856 marijuana plantations in 2015, or nearly 16 a day, according to the latest available figures. However, police estimate this is only one fifth of the total.






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Dutch municipalities rushing to join regulated cannabis experiment

By Janene Pieters 

November 7, 2017

 Cannabis / Wikipedia

A total of 25 municipalities have signed up so far to take part in the Rutte III government's experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, NOS reports. The government wants to start the experiment next year by letting eight to ten municipalities regulate the marijuana cultivation for their regions. 


Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb already stated that he was one of the first mayors to talk to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security about taking part in the experiment. Rotterdam has a 'municipal weed' plan ready to go, which does not only change how cannabis is produced, but also how it is distributed.  "The question is whether the phenomenon coffeeshop will still be needed in the future", Aboutaleb said earlier this month. He thinks other forms of distribution will be better. "Order online, and then get it delivered by bona fide package deliverers. Or through a vending machine."



The D66 in Cuijk also hopes that the Noord-Brabant town will be one of the participants, though there is still opposition from the local CDA faction, D66 councilor Rolf Asbroek said to NOS. If it is up to him, there will soon be a large cannabis complex next to the A73. "I want to put everything there. From research to production and from packaging to distribution", he said, also acknowledging that this plan is "more of a dot on the horizon". 


Mayor Paul Depla of Breda is pleased that so many municipalities are showing interest in the experiment, even though there's only limited space, he said according to broadcaster NOS. Depla was one of the initiators of the "weed manifesto" in 2014. Dozens of municipalities signed the document, which stated that cultivated production is the solution to the problems with the Netherlands' soft drugs policy. 


"Everyone can see that the current policy is bankrupt. Buying and selling is allowed, but how it comes to the coffeeshops is a mystery", Depla said, according to NOS. He calls it dangerous, not knowing how the cannabis is cultivated. "We do not know how the stuff in our coffeeshops is made. That's a big probem."


He is therefore happy that the experiment will easily fill its available spots. "I want to experiment with as many models as possible, so we can choose which one is best for regulated weed cultivation."


Which municipalities will be chosen for the experiment, will be announced in the course of next year. 








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