Thursday, 20 February 2014 - 08:12
Opstelten: MP majority against marijuana distribution
Minister for Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten (VVD) still has the support of a majority in parliament for his policy against the regulation of marijuana cultivation. In a Parliamentary debate yesterday, it appeared that coalition partner PvdA also feel that coffeeshop policy "doesn't work" and that it must be "reformed", het Parool reports. Opstelten is holding fast to his belief that tackling nuisance and criminality must be done without experimenting with regulation of marijuana cultivation. In an attempt to stem crime, parties GroenLinks, D66 and the SP do believe there should be space for experimentation with regulated marijuana. These parties also feel that minister Opstelten has too readily pushed aside ideas for this, and even a manifesto signed by dozens of mayors. "I have rarely seen a minister handle local authority with so little respect" Magda Berndsen of the D66 said. Opstelten maintains that he put a lot of time into his proposals. He does admit, however, that his numbers on export are "assumptions', because they are about an illegal field. Opstelten has fought for the concept that regulated marijuana distribution does not work against criminality, because 80 percent is intended for export. Various parties are doubtful in the numbers Opstelten gives. The minister is going to address these, not because he feels it necessary, but because he doesn't want any doubt. He is fully convinced in the matter, because the numbers have been drawn up by professionals. Governing parties PvdA and VVD came to a disagreement during the debate, het Parool reports. Marith Rebel pointed out that VVD mayors signed the manifesto that finds experimentation on marijuana cultivation policies a favorable idea. According to Ard van der Steur of the VVD, it is a constitutionally unjust and even an "execrable" suggestion to bring mayors into party politics.