Green party wants to regulate ecstasy production: report

GroenLinks wants ecstasy to be removed from criminal hands by having the government regulate the drug's production, parliamentarian Kathalijne Buitenweg said to the Volkskrant.

"The government does not have to make the pills itself, but the government must want to take control", she said to the newspaper. She recommends a permit system with controlled production, so that only pills that meet quality requirements are available. "I say it because of public health, but also because we have to do something about the frighteningly growing power of criminals."

Buitenweg wants the Netherlands to take the initiative to revise UN conventions on narcotics. According to her, the World Health Organization recently said that the rankings on harmfulness should be reviewed. The parliamentarian believes the Dutch government should restart this stalled discussion. "We must honestly see what those treaties have brought us. Less use? Less crime? I don't think so."

With regulation, Buitenweg also wants to launch a discouragement campaign that warns about the risks of ecstasy.

Mayor Paul Depla of Breda also calls for a shift in the Netherlands' drug policy. "Give me one reason why alcohol is freely available and ecstasy must be banned", he said to the newspaper. "I'm repeating the experts. They tell me ecstasy is less harmful than alcohol."

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