Monday, July 7, 2014 - 09:05
Mayors continue assault on cannabis policy
Dozens of mayors in The Netherlands have come together to plead for a regulation of marijuana cultivation. They want to permit sale of the soft drug in coffeeshops, as well as the cultivation. In an interview with de Volkskrant, mayor Paul Depla of Heerlen outs hard criticism on the current cannabis policy in The Cabinet. "The threshold to enter cannabis criminality has never been this low. You just need an attic and you can get going", Depla tells the paper. "We have created a criminal monster that keeps spreading its tentacles further in town quarters and villages." Some of the advantages of having government-regulated cannabis cultivation is health and quality. The government can control the quality, and monitor the levels of THC in the drug. Too much of the substance can lead to psychosis. For this reason, Depla criticizes the State Secretary of Public Health Martin van Rijn for not being visible in the discussion. "Cannabis policy is about public health, just like alcohol policy. Van Rijn, let yourself be heard. Regulated marijuana cultivation is better for public health", Depla tells the paper. The mayor thinks it us unacceptable that there are no quality controls performed on the marijuana that is sold in coffeeshops. State Secretary Van Rijn is saying that he is working together with Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice on a maximum THC content in cannabis.