13 januari 2020

Approved Weed Law In 2020?

The government of the Netherlands has taken a decision on the legalisation of weed. The use and cultivation of cannabis will become legal. After years of a policy of tolerance, the purchasing policy will finally be legalized. So weed can be grown legally. Would this be a good thing? Isn’t weed harmful to public health? And how are the development on this matter in other countries? Just a few questions that will be answered in this article. After reading this you will be up-to-date about the latest changes.

Chapter 1: Policies of tolerance

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Before we discuss the new policy, we’ll look at the tolerance policy in the Netherlands as it is now. The tolerance policy means that it is punishable if you are in possession of soft drugs, but that under certain conditions this fact will not have criminal consequences.
The tolerance policy deviates from the Opium Act of 1919. The current laws and regulations concerning cannabis are often seen as confusing in the Netherlands. The sale of cannabis is tolerated, but its cultivation is forbidden.
This also includes strict conditions that coffeeshops have to follow in order not to be criminally prosecuted.
According to the central government, the following tolerance criteria apply to coffeeshops:

Law– No more than 5 grams of soft drugs per day per person can be sold.
– Harddrugs cannot be sold.
– No softdrugs are allowed to be sold to minors.
– Minors are not permitted to enter a coffeeshop.
– No alcohol can be served.
– Drugs and the coffee shop can not be advertised.
– No nuisance may be caused to the environment.
– The trade stock must not exceed 500 grams.
– No admission for and sale to anyone other than residents of the Netherlands.

These are quite a few criteria coffeeshop owners must live up to. But the weird thing of course remains that they are allowed to sell cannabis, but are not allowed to buy it. This strange construction is also called the ‘back door’. But this is going to change!

Chapter 2: In other countries..

With its tolerance policy, the Netherlands was known for years as a pioneer in the field of softdrugs. Many tourists still come to Holland to smoke a joint in a coffeeshop. But in recent years the Netherlands has been surpassed by other countries.
For example, Uruguay. This South American country introduced a weed law in 2013, making it the first country in the world to legalise all stages of growing, distributing and selling weed.

In 2018, Canada became the second country in the world where you can legally buy weed. With this, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered on an important election promise. The prime minister thought the almost one hundred year old legislation was no longer effective, because Canadians worldwide are one of the heaviest weed users. However, he and his government make sure that the use of cannabis is promoted. The same government expects to collect approximately 350 million euros a year in taxes when the new law is in effect. Luxembourg wants to be the first country in Europe to fully legalise weed. The new government is in the process of realising the plans for this. In the countries marked in green, cannabis has been partially or fully legalised.

They have also made up ground in America in terms of the legalisation of weed. Initially it was about legalising medicinal use, but in some states, such as California, recreational use has also been legalised. However, there are strict rules regarding this legalisation. For example, there is an age limit and no cannabis may be sold between 22:00 and 06:00. So in Uruguay there is no cannabis available for tourists, but in America tourists can go for a joint. Click here to see where this is possible.

Law bookChapter 3: The New Law

The Netherlands now is significantly outdated compared to other countries and the current tolerance policy is also very crooked. So did the politicians. And so a new policy had to be developed that would legalize soft drugs and therefore also cannabis. Vera Bergkamp of D66 came up with a bill that puts an end to the shady buying and selling of weed. It wasn’t easy, but in the end the law came through the House of Representatives. In 2020, the municipalities will be allowed to decide whether growers will be allowed to supply the coffeeshops. This will be controlled by the government.

Below you can read the exactl meaning of the new law, according to Vera Bergkamp:
– Coffeeshop owners must ask the city council for a tolerance policy, the mayor will assess the application. Strict conditions apply: the mayor determines how much stock a coffeeshop is allowed to have.
– Cannabis can only be bought from growers who have been approved by the government.
– The cannabis is in a closed packaging of a maximum of 5 grams.
– There are also strict rules for the growers: they must deliver the cannabis in packaging of a maximum of 5 grams, with the ingredients on the packaging.
– Growers are only allowed to deliver to coffeeshops with a tolerance decision by the city council.


Before this law is put into practice, there will be a lot of experimentation with it. On 12 November, the Upper House of Parliament passed the law ‘Experiment closed coffeeshop chain’. At the beginning of 2020, the procedures will be started with which prospective growers can obtain a licence to produce for the experimental coffee shops.

Growers who are interested will then be able to apply for a licence and a selection committee will eventually decide who will receive those licences, possibly by drawing lots. Probably by the end of 2020 it will be known who will be allowed to grow weed on the basis of such a cultivation license.

In 2021 the growers will then be able to start growing weed and in 2022 the first regulated weed will be in the coffeeshops, possibly as early as the end of 2021.
In order to prevent the experiment with legal weed of normalizing cannabis use, the government will launch a national information campaign.
In the video below, the difference between the old tolerance policy and the new policy is clearly explained.
Nieuwe wietwet: dit gaat er veranderen

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