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Belgium Relaxes Cannabis Legislation

Discussion in 'International Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. Belgium News - Top Story
    Source: Expatica.com

    Brussels – The new drug law that eases restrictions on the personal use of cannabis was set to pass through the Belgian Senate Thursday night. The law is aimed at bringing Belgium into line with several other European countries, modifying a 1921 law outlawing the drug.
    The legislation's priorities are split into three areas: prevention, assistance and repression. The legislation was pitched by VLD Justice Minister Marc Verwilghen as the 'third way' between prohibition and legalisation, with the aim of discouraging and reducing the consumption of drugs and protecting society from its consequences.

    The law allows for the possession of small amounts of cannabis (no more than 5g) and the cultivation of marijuana plants, both for personal use. Smoking in public places and in the presence of minors is still prohibited, while users causing problems for neighbours will be prosecuted.

    Legal consequences will take personal circumstances into account while dependency will not constitute an excuse for criminal activity. For non-problematic use, police will simply note the date, time and place of the event without further action.

    For problematic use or if a public nuisance is created, a prosecution will take place. Correctional sentences will be replaced by a fine of EUR 1 to EUR 25, EUR 25 to EUR 50 if there is a re-offence within one year, while re-offence in the second year will lead to a custodial sentence of eight days to one month.

    It will be at the discretion of police officers to decide where the line is drawn between problematic and non-problematic use, something which attracted criticism when the law was passed through Parliament for review last month.

    Verwilghen insisted the new legislation granted legal tolerance to the use of the drug but under no circumstances allowed for the sale of the drug, as in Dutch 'coffee-shops'. This was a step towards therapeutic solutions rather than penalisation, he said, but Belgium would be staying within the limits of international law.

    Back in January 2001 the then Minister for Health, Magda Aelvoet, announced the depenalisation of cannabis for adults. For the 8 percent of regular users in Belgium, it has been a two-year wait for the project to reach the Senate.

    Source: Expatica.com (Belgium)
    Published: March 27, 2003
    Copyright: Expatica News 2003
    Contact: comments@expatica.com
    Website: http://www.expatica.com/belgium.asp
  2. great news and another great start of a ball rolling in the right direction in a very important place....

    does this mean that Member's of the Europian Parliment will be less afraind to spark up a J over there... hehe ;)

    half of it does seem a little like the double standards we are to experience over here in UK once cannabis is "downgraded" from class B to class C. -people dont get arrested and banged up for years for other class Cs like steroids or glue sniffing... so why the 14 years for trafficing or production.

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