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Netherlands backing off on restrictions

No surprise here.

In some of the border areas in the Netherlands there was concern among some political leaders about the amount of “pot tourism” — people from other countries coming to enjoy the cannabis cafes — and so they started implementing rules limited the cafes to local residents and establishing a database of users.

This was seized upon by prohibitionists here in the states as “proof” that legalization (or the Netherlands’ version of it) was a failure and that they wanted to reverse their experiment.

Here’s Kevin Sabet practically gloating just recently:

We know a few things about the Netherlands. First and foremost, we know that in that country officials and the public have become increasingly uneasy with their de facto legalization policies. In fact, they are completely reversing them – closing down pot shops, restricting who can buy marijuana (Sorry, American college students!), etc.

Of course, all the proposed changes actually proved was that there was a problem with neighboring countries’ prohibition policies that caused excess traffic in the Netherlands.

And now…

Maastricht mayor does u-turn over cannabis club membership

Locals in Maastricht should no longer have to formally register as marijuana users to buy soft drugs from the city’s cannabis cafes, mayor Onno Hoes said in a letter to councillors on Wednesday. […]

At the same time, so few locals have registered as cannabis users that changes need to be made in the way the membership system works. Because locals are reluctant to register, ID and an official council certificate stating where they live should be sufficient to buy marijuana, the mayor is quoted as saying.

Nos says Hoes also hopes this will reduce the number of street dealers who have appeared since the ban was introduced.

So, to recap, despite what prohibition advocates claim, there has never been any significant interest in re-criminalizing marijuana use in the Netherlands, but rather only to reduce pot tourism and add regulations. Now, even those efforts are being re-considered because if you clamp down too hard, it causes the black market to re-surface.

The Netherlands continues to be a powerful demonstration of the advantages to society of providing a legal framework for marijuana, and the disadvantages when you do not.

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29 comments to Netherlands backing off on restrictions

  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    Here’s a typical example of the comments I’ve been seeing recently in the Dutch Press:

    Het was de partij van Onno Hoes de VVD die de wietpas er doorgedrukt heeft want dat stond de VVD bejaarden die zich minister noemen zo stoer. Zelfs een kleuter kon weten dat ze daar de drugproblemen en de misdaad alleen maar groter zouden worden. Hopelijk zijn we na de verkiezingen van deze VVD fossielen af die in nog geen twee jaar tijd Nederland naar de afgrond hebben geleid.

    Translation: It was Onno Hoes’s party, the VVD, that pushed the “wietpas” through parlement, because that fitted so well with the VVD pensioners that refer to themselves as ministers. Even a toddler would know that the drug [related] problems and crime could only increase. Hopefully we’ll get shot of these VVD fossils—who took only two years to destroy The Netherlands—after the election.

    http://nos.nl/video/415174-burgemeester-hoes-zonder-wietpas-naar-de-coffeeshop.html

    The election is next Wednesday. All left of center parties are promising the full legalization of marijuana. One of my three passports is Dutch so I’ll get the chance to help make history.

  • claygooding

    Please don’t mention nerd nuts again,,I am out of air sickness bags and too lazy to go outside to barf.

    It’s official,,any backsliding on marijuana regulations,,medical or recreational,,increases crime,,the genie is out of the bottle and the cost of maintaining worldwide hemp prohibition is skyrocketing,,,with a continuous climb until they set hemp free.

  • The Prohibitionists got in office, made a mess out of something that was working well, and now will get thrown out with the trash, come election day.

  • The truth will set you free, Kevin.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      It’s pretty obvious that the truth is not a welcome visitor in the Sabet household. I’d wager dollars to dirt that if the truth were to politely knock on Kev-Kev’s front door that he would call the police and demand it be arrested for trespassing.

  • Francis

    “Pot tourism”? Gosh, that does sound like a problem. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of foreigners coming into your country and spending money. I mean, it not only boosts the local economy, it also creates jobs and contributes tax revenue to fund government services. It’s obviously something to be avoided at any cost.

    • Francis

      Speaking of drug tourism, I’m somewhat astonished by how little effort the California authorities seem to put into stamping out the scourge of NAPA Valley wine tourism. I mean, there’s a drug that, unlike cannabis, can actually kill you and that frequently makes its users violent and abusive. And yet, I almost get the impression that the authorities actually encourage wine tourism. It’s a strange world we’re living in, isn’t it?

    • War Vet

      And spending your tourist bucks eating those wonderful Chicken and cherry pancakes or beef, honey, rum, carrot, blueberry and avocado pancakes. Or those big cones of fries and mayo . . . you’ll wonder just how weird you were to put ketchup on your fries after eating a large cone stuffed with mayo and fries . . . and drinking Chocomel (What real chocolate milk tastes like when sold commercially) . . . getting baked and walking through the art museums . . . listening to rock bands at the Paradiso and dancing at Discos . . . spending a dozen euros at good ol’ Abraxas (1 and 2) . . . going down the canals stoned like the bridges over the water . . . walking to The Doors and getting a good seat . . . going to the blue pottery museum and spending a grand on a teacup . . . getting a Popeye’s brownie because you know you just spent a grand on fine blue china and are now feeling a little guilty for the big purchase. Oh, yeah, spending thousands of dollars per tourist will just wreck their economy . . . they must keep it outlawed.

  • booboo

    I’m at a disavantage.I’m demanding them xanys cause I’m panicing can’t stand it.fucking outlandish.rolling with the dutchess.who got the toughness .wiggles that’s who. Who knew! He’s back from the deep blue.baby baby you know its true.death couldn’t handle him he strangled em.butt fucking kev kev while gun shots go pop pop kevs ful of lead .from the lies his mislead america .fasicit maggot ass faggot..

  • denbee

    America could foster a “70 Years of Reefer Madness(the jokes on you)Tour. We could show where using marijuana causes white girls to want sex with black men and musicians. We could show proof of how pot can enslave an entire nation if it not kept illegal. We could testify to the world that marijuana has no known medicinal value and that arresting almost a million citizens a year is a small price for containing the spread of this evil herb that has harmed no one. We could show the world how effective our little drug war has been and how popular it is with our citizens. Vote Gary Johnson, give reason a chance.

  • OT… (but only by a little!) I know Pete loves the submarine stories. One thing that caught my eye is the economic scope of those subsidized by Prohibition II, but heck I’ll let the story’s gems stand on their own. There are plenty in there…

    Traffickers Go Under the Sea to Smuggle More Drugs

    -snip-

    This is the new challenge faced by the United States and Latin American countries as narcotics organizations bankroll machine shops operating under cover of South America’s triple-canopy jungles to build diesel-powered submarines that would be the envy of all but a few nations.

    After years of detecting these craft in the less trafficked Pacific Ocean, officials have seen a spike in their use in the Caribbean over the last year. American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States.

    -snip-

    [emphasis added]

    • Servetus

      The prohibs are always raving hysterically about what the cartel bosses will do once drugs are legal and regulated. At least one of the cartels’ options will be to incorporate and go into the personal and commercial submarine business.

  • It must be time for some music (theme appropriate of course), jah?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVkk6fH2u0Y

    As Pete’s audience grows there will be those folks stopping by who (incredibly) have never heard this anthemic jazzy ditty. The whole CD is worth owning btw…

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    It sure seems like the prohibitionists spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating our genitalia.
    Marijuana Use Increases Risk for Prostate Cancer; Cocaine Use Lowers it.

    Don’t be too hard on the article’s writer just because he can’t differentiate between a testicle and a prostate. Parts is parts you know.

    • The newspapers have taken a study that hasn’t proven anything and played it up big in the press like it has.

      “the odds that a man will get testicular cancer are pretty slim to start with. About 1 in 400 white men are diagnosed by the time they are 35, according to the National Cancer Institute. So even if you double that risk to 1 in 200, any one man’s chances are still pretty low.

      The study also doesn’t prove that marijuana causes cancer.

      In fact, the relationship the researchers found wasn’t easy to explain. Men with lighter habits or who had given up pot smoking had a higher risk of testicular cancer than those who were current smokers or who reported heavier use.”
      http://tinyurl.com/cxb5b3f

      • Boy… the article Duncan linked needs an editor. So many errors. Of course changing testicular cancer to prostate cancer is a major booboo that stands on its own, but throw in all the typos and gack!.

        Thanks for the better written article TC. I remain doobious.

  • claygooding

    How does marijuana make you a better person?

    #1.Marijuana allows me to remain a calm person,,with enuff wisdom to recognize that making some idiots neck the diameter of my penis(got that dialed in)is not the answer.

  • claygooding

    http://www.wflx.com/story/19269218/2012/08/14/mesa-man-arrested-in-another-craigslist-bestiality-case

    A Mesa man has been arrested on suspicion of utilizing online classifieds website Craigslist to try to procure a dog for sexual gratification, the fourth such case in just more than a year, according to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    “”Investigators say James Naylor, 47, faces a felony bestiality charge after he was arrested Monday by deputies after a two-month investigation, Arpaio said.

    Arpaio said Naylor, who is married with one child, used Craigslist as a means for soliciting sex from an undercover sheriff deputy K-9, according to Arpaio’s office. Deputies said they responded to an ad posted by Naylor on Craigslist in June. “” ‘snipped’

    Sparking K-9 drug dogs is ballsy but he should have known the bitch would nark on him.

    Good that Joe is finding criminals he understands.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    There’s been so many surprises the last year or so in the world of cannabis law reform. Why not finding a literary gem when you’re certain that you’re opening up an piece of propagandist poop? From the “you can’t judge a book by its name” category:

    Dealing Death and Drugs
    by Susie Byrd & Beto O’Rourke

    In Dealing Death and Drugs, the two El Paso natives outline the drug war’s effects on their city and their sister city, Ciudad Juárez. Beginning with a history of the Juárez-El Paso smuggling corridor, the authors follow the evolution from the mom-and-pop operations of the prohibition era to the horrific cartel warfare of the past few years. They also highlight the tragic consequences of strict enforcement of marijuana laws, not only for the hundreds of thousands of Mexican families caught in the violence but also for American communities (especially minority-dominant ones) torn apart by illegal markets and widespread incarceration. They rightfully challenge two common myths: that marijuana is a gateway drug, and that price increases lower use.

    Calculating the human and economic costs of drug trafficking and the current policies, they conclude (quite bravely for two public officials) that the “least bad” solution would be the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana would not be freely available, of course, but regulated and taxed. In fact, their suggested policies are quite similar to current tobacco laws—requiring buyers provide proof of age and identification, licensing producers, distributors, and sellers, limiting smoking to non-public spaces, and leading an advertising campaign to inform the public on marijuana’s negative health effects.
    /snip/

  • stlgonzo

    Pot for Parents

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/opinion/how-pot-helps-parenting.html?_r=2nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120908&

    “I swear I am a more loving, attentive and patient father when I take my medication as prescribed. Perhaps this isn’t surprising. As anyone who inhaled during college can attest, cannabis enhances the ability to perceive beauty, complexity and novelty in otherwise mundane things (grout patterns in your bathroom floor, the Grateful Dead, Doritos), while simultaneously locking you into a prolonged state of rapt attention. You not only notice the subtle color variations in your cat’s fur, you stare at them in loving awe for 20 solid minutes.”

    I agree with this entirely.

  • OMG I ran back over and sorry for plopping down so hard on the couch. Had to get here when I read this:

    Obama calls on marijuana users and supporters to vote
    http://tinyurl.com/96u33w6

    I have always planned on voting. Just…

  • Peter

    OT
    One more glaring example of the need to regulate the manufacture and sale of all drugs:

    http://tinyurl.com/8fupwrg