Venlo, the Netherlands, Thursday February 12.
From our correspondent.
Translation: Nol van Schaik
Pub Date: February 12, 2004
Megacoffeeshop near German border.
The city council of Venlo has given out a license for a new megacoffeeshop that is supposed to rid the city centre of the overwhelming and disturbing presence of, mainly, German drugs tourists.
The coffeeshop, that already got worldwide attention of the press as the new “McDope” will be opened on short notice in the well-known highway restaurant “Schwanenhaus”, on merely 200 meters from the German border. Our east neighbours were outraged earlier about the plans for the McDope very near to the border.
The new entrepreneur has bought the huge building, which is still being frequented by truckers. The parking has space for about 200 cars. The city council has bought the entrepreneurs two buildings in the city centre, coffeeshop Oase in the Puteanusstreet and Coffeeshop Roots on the Maasdock.
According to Mayor Jan Schrijen, who issued the exploitation license, Justice Minister Donner has responded fearfully on the decision.
This article shows us that Minister Donner has only been rambling about closing coffeeshops, about a smoke ban for coffeeshops, about refusing non Dutch visitors in coffeeshops and lots more stupid proposals to try and please the governments of other nations. It is as I always said, Minister Donner has no power in the coffeeshop policy of the Netherlands, the Mayor of a municipality has the final power in this.
It also shows that the coffeeshop policy can be adjusted to modern times, by allowing this McDope, to improve the situation for both the people of Venlo, and the situation for the German cannabis consumers, with one simple move.
The Germans are outraged, but I do not see any reason for that, the Dutch did not cause the problem, it was caused by German politics and cannabis hungry citizens, the solution for this problem came from the Dutch. The Germans will buy their cannabis in Holland anyway, be it in Venlo or in the McDope, so, what are the German authorities pissed off about?
All Dutch licensed coffeeshops pay tax to the Dutch Government, so a part of the German euros invested in cannabis end up in the Bank of the Netherlands. Instead of wining about how the Dutch tend to solve problems around the use of psychoactive substances, they should think about the bad economical situation their country is in, at present. Allowing a few thousand coffeeshops in their country would not only end the constant cannabis cash flow to Holland, it would benefit the German economy as a whole.
Coffeeshops employ people, they rent and/or buy buildings, and, they make profits.
There are loads of unemployed people in Germany, allowing coffeeshops would create jobs for about 10 persons per coffeeshop on average.
There are loads of empty business buildings in Germany, only costing money at the moment, coffeeshops would take up a lot of those places, if they were allowed.
Coffeeshops make profits, over which they pay tax (a lot!), that money goes straight back into the German society, now it goes to Holland.
I guess all the well-educated politicians in Holland and Germany that still babble words like ‘gateway’ and ‘prohibition’ know all this, like I am aware of it, but they rather hang on to the lies that cannabis prohibition is based upon. Dutch coffeeshops have proven their use for Dutch society, for over 30 years now, but if politicians do not want to see or believe that, we just have to keep confronting them with our lifestyle, day by day, until they do!
There is no political solution, we, the people have to come up with a solution, to a problem that is only recognised as such by politicians, we do not have any problem with cannabis.
It’s time for Kaffeeshops in Deutschland, and in Belgium, the UK, France, Spain and all other countries in this unfree world. It might end some people up in jail, unless a few dozen places all open up on the same day, in the same country, with loads of supporters, good Lawyers and a lot of press. We could also wait until licenses to sell cannabis will be given out by governments, but I do not think any of us will live to be 700 years…
Stand up for your right to grow, have and use cannabis, or keep smoking bad, expensive shit in silence!
I hereby want to nominate Mayor Jan Schrijen as Holland’s Citizen of the Year 2004, for being able to think like a citizen, and act like a Mayor.
Nol van Schaik.