AMSTERDAM – Shops selling cannabis seeds and specialist equipment for cultivating marijuana plants face closure under proposed changes to Dutch drugs laws.
Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told parliament he would amend laws to ban the sale of everything that 'facilitates the production of cannabis', news agency ANP reported on Thursday.
A majority of lawmakers said in November they supported such a move.
So-called 'grow shops' often offer clients full advice on how to grow marijuana at home, an activity illegal in the Netherlands, Christian Democrat lawmakers have said.
Soft drugs are officially banned in the Netherlands but under a policy of tolerance, buyers are allowed to have less than 5 grams of cannabis in their possession.
In recent years the country has sought to shed its 'anything goes' image and has tightened laws on drug use and prostitution.
Looks like the US Gov't gets it's way in another country...........AGAIN!
Although the Dutch approach to drugs has been the target of much criticism from the rest of the world, its supporters within the Netherlands are quick to point out that it has been a shining success story. For years, the Netherlands has been at the very top of the rankings when it comes to the lowest number of drug-related deaths.
Experts say this is mainly due to the transparency of the Dutch system, the strict dividing line between hard drugs and soft drugs and the outstanding care for addicts. However, the current government is keen to jettison this liberal approach because of its own anti-drugs beliefs and because it is thought to contravene European regulations and it irks the US, Ironically, the proposed changes come at a time when an increasing number of governments are gradually coming round to the idea of following the Dutch example, precisely because it has been such a success.