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NL: Capital calls time on booze-hash cafes

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by D9_THC, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. 11/06/03

    AMSTERDAM: Amsterdam's coffee shops, where cannabis and alcohol top
    the menu, suffered a knockout blow on Wednesday when the city council
    announced the cafes will in future have to decide which "drug of choice" to
    sell.

    In other cities and towns in the Netherlands, cannabis cafes are tolerated as long
    as they do not sell alcohol on the same premises. Cafes in the capital have an
    exemption from this regulation, but Amsterdam City Council said this privilege
    would be withdrawn in the next three years.

    From now until 2006, coffee shop owners in Amsterdam will be given the
    opportunity to continue business as an alcohol-free cafe or to stop selling soft
    drugs, Dutch associated press ANP reported.

    There are several hundred coffee shops in Amsterdam and 64 of these sell both
    alcohol and cannabis. The municipality and justice officials have worked for
    years to separate the supply of alcohol and cannabis and the number of alcohol-
    cannabis cafes has fallen from 100 to 64 since 1998.

    At this rate, it would take 18 years for the last alcohol vending cannabis cafe to
    die out and the council is not willing to wait that long.

    The new plan is the latest in a string of blows to hit the Dutch cannabis industry.
    On 5 May, the Justice Ministry said it was considering imposing restrictions on
    the active THC content in locally produced cannabis.

    The government is concerned about the strength of Dutch marijuana, grown
    indoors, which can allegedly be twice as strong as imported crops.

    A few days before that, the Health Ministry seemed to put the future of all coffee
    shops at risk when it said they would have to provide a smoke-free environment
    for staff by the beginning of 2004.

    Collectively known as the horeca, ordinary cafes, restaurants and hotels have
    been granted a 12-month extension, but cannabis shops are not covered by the
    horeca laws and will have to enforce the new anti-smoking regulation in six
    months time. Given the nature of their business this will be practically impossible.

    [Copyright Expatica News 2003]
     

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