Cabinet wants marijuana cafes to serve “members only”
1. Various of people walking on Amsterdam street
2. Various coffee shop exteriors
3. Various of marijuana cigarettes being prepared
4. Coffee shop customers at bar
5. Wide of coffee shop interior
6. Close of man smoking marijuana cigarette
7. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Ivo Opstelten, Minister of Justice:
“We want to bring the cafes back to what they were once intended to be: for people who live in the immediate area, not for tourism or large-scale criminal trade.”
8. Mid of Michael Veling, spokesman for the Union of Cannabis Retailers
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Veling, Spokesman for the Union of Cannabis Retailers and Coffee Shop Owner:
“I can’t see the government issuing a pass to residents with which they then go into a tolerated environment to commit a felony, that is to purchase cannabis. That is the still forbidden by law.”
10. Close of people smoking marijuana
11. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Ivo Opstelten, Minister of Justice:
“It will be a technically difficult operation especially in Amsterdam, but we will not make any exceptions, not even Amsterdam”
12. Various of marijuana trade in coffee shop
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Fridel, Tourist from Germany:
“It will take all sense of Amsterdam and would probably make three quarters of tourists less.”
14. Coffee shop interior
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Hammer, Tourist from US:
“I am here for the Cannabis Cup (Amsterdam marijuana-centred festival), the first time I have ever been here and I am coming here because I hear legislation is changing and some day it may not be there any more. So I’d like to be able to enjoy it one time in my life before it’s gone.”
16. People at table, smoking marijuana
17. Japanese tourist smoking
Plans have emerged from the new, conservative Netherlands government for legislation to make the country’s famous – or notorious – marijuana cafes to become “members only” clubs, a move that would effectively block foreigners from buying the drug.
It would be the latest of the country’s liberal policies to be scrapped or curtailed as the Dutch rethink the limits of their famed tolerance.
Marijuana is still technically illegal in the Netherlands but it has been sold openly in designated cafes for decades, and police make no arrests for possession of small amounts.
Observers say the legislation to change the established status quo would be legally complicated and politically divisive.
Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said that in the future, only residents of Dutch cities will be allowed to purchase cannabis.
“We want to bring the cafes back to what they were once intended to be: for people who live in the immediate area, not for tourism or large-scale criminal trade,” he said.
Details of the plan are still being worked out and it will be presented to parliament sometime next year.
The city of Amsterdam, which has long had a reputation as a haven for marijuana smokers and could lose a major tourist attraction if the policy is enforced, is not enthusiastic about the proposal.
Last year, then-mayor Job Cohen said he feared a system requiring users to obtain passes “risks increasing street trade and ‘illegal’ sales points.”
Marijuana cafe owners scoffed at the idea of member passes as political posturing and unworkable in practice.
Michael Veling, spokesman for the Union of Cannabis Retailers and owner of Amsterdam’s 4:20 cafe, said he could not see it happening.
He predicted it will prove difficult for the government to make rules regulating marijuana cafes without first legalising marijuana.
“I can’t see the government issuing a pass to residents with which they then go into a tolerated environment to commit a felony, that is to purchase cannabis,” he said.
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Frederick Polak talk | Cannabis Culture Awards Amsterdam 2012
more info at www.cannabiscultureawards.com
One of the most experienced and respected Dutch psychiatrists in the field of drug use, Frederick Polak worked in the drug department of the municipal health services (GGD) for thirteen years and has written and co-authored numerous articles and reports including ‘Drugsbeheersing door Legalisatie’ (Drug Management through Legalisation), ‘Thinking About Drug Law Reform: Some Political Dynamics of Medicalization’, and ‘American Criticism of Dutch Drug Policy Unfounded’. He continues to appear at many conferences and public events throughout Europe as a highly informed yet down-to-earth speaker who clearly argues his point that drug prohibition is actually counterproductive to protecting the health of the general public. He is on the Board of Directors of Stichting Drugsbeleid (The Netherlands Drug Policy Foundation).
Cannabis College – Amsterdam
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What’s this Video About:
Established in Amsterdam in 1998, the Cannabis College went from humble beginnings to becoming one of the trusted information centres on cannabis around the world. The world is changing. From rigid laws dictating cannabis use as a criminal activity, authorities all over the world are waking up to the fact that soft drugs are being used everywhere. The campaigns for legalizing cannabis have been fermenting across the globe, with some countries already embracing the pot culture as ‘harmless fun’. This is what Cannabis College always aimed for.
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NORML’s Keith Stroup Talks Amsterdam Coffeeshops, Dispensaries & Legalization – Smokers Guide TV
http://smokersguide.com – Smokers Guide TV meets up with Keith Stroup founder and Legal Counsel of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to talk about the coffeeshops in Amsterdam, the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the USA, recreational Marijuana & Cannabis Legalization. NORML is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC working to reform marijuana laws, for more info visit http://norml.org
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The Smokers Guide book is a map-based, full colour guide filled with handy tips, super discount coupons, rolling tippies and much more. It explains the legal situation in Amsterdam, and provides you with all the best info when travelling to Amsterdam. It also deals with how marijuana works, and how to select the best smoke for you! The Smokers Guide believes in high quality. It represents only good businesses that offer high quality products to their customers. The Smokers Guide has been making product reviews for many years now, testing the strains of marijuana currently available on the Amsterdam market. Other Music by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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