Netherlands: Dutch Parliament For Legalisation Of Soft Drugs
Newshawk: Jan van der Tas
Pubdate: Tue, 22 Apr 2003
Source: de Volkskrant (Netherlands)
Copyright: 2003, de Volkskrant
Note: The Second Chamber is the Dutch House of Commons. Currently a new
coalition cabinet is being formed. Translation from Dutch by Harry Bego.
Political Party names with a notation of "hb" inserted for clarification.
CHAMBER FOR LEGALISATION OF SOFT DRUGS
THE HAGUE - A large majority of the Second Chamber supports the plea of the Maastricht Court president Lampe for legalisation of soft drugs. Only CDA ( Christian democrats - hb ) wants to keep marijuana and hash under criminal law to prevent the Netherlands from being flooded by drug tourists.
Only CDA wants to keep hash under criminal law. CDA advocates strict adherence to current tolerance policy. "We must tune our drug policy with neighbouring countries. Otherwise we only import more drugs misery", CDA mp Van Haersma Buma says. VVD ( liberal conservatives - hb ) mp Griffith states that the opinions of Judge Lampe are in full agreement with the opinions of her party. "Drugs are a part of our society, you have to live with that."
Court president Lampe Last weekend criticised the clogging of the judicial system by the large amount of drugs cases. Other serious crimes remain unsanctioned or their trials are greatly delayed. Lampe thinks that legalisation of drugs, starting with soft drugs, can help.
PvdA, VVD, SP, LPF, GroenLinks and D66 support the plea by Lampe with respect to marijuana and hash. "Wise words from a man who knows", PvdA ( labour party - hb ) mp Albayrak says. Two years ago a proposal by PvdA to legalise soft drugs achieved a minute majority. "But the government refused to do anything with it. We call upon the new cabinet-to-be to take this almost Chamber-wide desire seriously".
Intended CDA coalition partner VVD shares that opinion. Spokesperson Griffith however thinks that as many allies as possible must be found in Europe and the rest of the world. United Nations treaties at the moment hinder the depenalisation of sale, trade and production of soft drugs.
The third candidate government party, D66 ( liberal democrats - hb ), has been in favor of the legalisation of soft drugs for years. "In that way one cuts organised crime off", faction leader and former Judge Dittrich says. Moreover, by legalising production, state control over thc-content, the active ingredient in marijuana, is enabled. Dittrich: "And that is necessary too. Soft drugs are becoming ever stronger".
LPF ( List Pim Fortuyn - hb ) prefers to hand over the sale of soft drugs to pharmacists. "We don't want to place it next to the sweets in the supermarket. Otherwise you'll be causing all young people to use drugs", LPF mp Eerdmans thinks.