October 21, 2014

Historical verdict in weed growers’ case

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 1:56 pm

The court of Groningen handed down a ‘historical verdict’ last Thursday by refusing to punish two cannabis growers who ‘safely and responsibly’ carry out their work, only selling to coffee shops and even paying taxes. While the court found the growers guilty of cultivating weed, it refused to punish them for doing so, underlying the Dutch hypocrisy of punishing ‘the back door’ while turning a blind eye to selling through ‘the front door’. Weed sold in coffee shops is ‘tolerated’ and still illegal, but it continues to be supplied illegally, which is often challenged.

“Coffee shops must supply themselves and so cultivation must be done to satisfy these demands,” the Groningen court said, “but the law does not state how this supply should be done.” What growers do is illegal, but allowing the sale of cannabis since 1976 in coffee shops is very hypocritical and blatantly encourages crime.

The government enjoys the tax money it gets from legitimate businesses like coffee shops, and now the back door has now been left open. Other growers could also soon go unpunished, en route to the legal supply of cannabis for coffee shops.

(Links: phys.org, www.voc-nederland.org)

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July 13, 2011

No more ‘no-blow zones’ for Amsterdam

Filed under: Architecture,General,Health,Weird by Orangemaster @ 2:20 pm

The city of Amsterdam has been told today by the Council of State (no more appeals can be made) that it is breaking the Opium Law by putting up signs that designate certain places as ‘no-blow’ zones (‘blowen’ in Dutch is smoking pot). The first ever area of Amsterdam was around a public place called Mercatorplein, 800 metres from my place.

Mercatorplein is notorious for being regularly overhauled (love the last job, with a play fountain and trendy restaurant) and having been designed by famous artist H.P Berlage (with a tower that was broken down in 1961 and rebuilt in 1995). In recent times, it has been the backdrop for a riot between the Dutch Moroccan community and the police, as well as a hit and run where the driver ran over a known female cabaret artist, but the licence plate of his car fell off.

Way back some residents in the East of the city asked for the ban to keep their kids’ playground clean. They actually didn’t get the ban, only because the city thought it was a bit harsh.

In the Netherlands and contrary to all the tourist websites, soft drugs are illegal, as stated in the Opium Law. But yes, we go to the coffee shops and buy pre-rolled joints just like you buy a pack of smokes at the shop. The law is simply ignored and soft drugs are ‘tolerated’.

The crazy logic is because soft drugs are forbidden, you don’t need a sign to forbid them again. Of course, this is not in tune with reality, but then again neither is the Opium Law.

(Link: blikopnieuws.nl, Photo of No-blow (and no drinking) sign by Erik Joling, some rights reserved)

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