ChristenUnie wants to increase age limit for cannabis to 21 years
The smallest political party in the ruling coalition, ChristenUnie, wants the legal age to purchase cannabis and hashish to be raised from 18 to 21 years. Party leader Mirjam Bikker was expected to argue in favor of this on Wednesday during a debate on drug policy.
The Cabinet already wants to investigate whether the age for tobacco can be raised to 21 years, and Bikker finds it “inexplicable” that this will not happen for cannabis.
“Teenagers do not belong in a coffeeshop,” said the new ChristenUnie leader. “Smoking tobacco is addictive, bad for your health and disastrous for the development of our young people.” By increasing the age, fewer young people will come into contact with cannabis, and fewer are likely to become addicted, Bikker argued. She accused progressive parties, such as D66, of “leaving young people to fend for themselves” by considering drug use as an inviolable sacred cow.
However, D66 believes that the current policy falls short, and should be further liberalized. “More fighting, more drug laws, more repression and tougher language will not make a difference,” said D66, the second largest coalition party after the prime minister’s VVD.
It remains to be seen whether there is support for the ChristenUnie plan. In 2012, the party also advocated raising the age limit. The party is also in favor of closing all coffeeshops.
Reporting by ANP