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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00THEHAGUE1957
2000-06-28 15:05:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

DUTCH PARLIAMENT FOR LEGALIZED SOFT DRUG

Tags:   SNAR  KCRM  NL 
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						UNCLAS THE HAGUE 001957 

SIPDIS


STATE FOR INL, INL/T, EUR/UBI, EUR/ERA
ONDCP FOR AGRESTI
DEA FOR OFE/LORINO AND DANIELS
DOJ FOR OIA/FRIEDMAN


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM NL
SUBJECT: DUTCH PARLIAMENT FOR LEGALIZED SOFT DRUG
DELIVERIES TO COFFEESHOPS


REF: THE HAGUE 1370


SUMMARY
-------


1. ON JUNE 27, A MAJORITY OF THE SECOND CHAMBER OF THE
DUTCH PARLIAMENT ADOPTED A LABOR PARTY (PVDA)
RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE GON TO LEGALIZE THE SUPPLY OF
DUTCH-GROWN CANNABIS ("NEDERWIET") TO COFFEESHOPS.
DUTCH JUSTICE MINISTER KORTHALS REJECTED THE PROPOSAL.
HE WANTS TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH THE CABINET ON JUNE


30.


LEGALIZED SOFT DRUG DELIVERIES TO COFFEESHOPS


--------------------------




2. BY A ONE-VOTE MAJORITY (73:72), THE SECOND CHAMBER
OF THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT ADOPTED A RESOLUTION REQUESTING
THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT TO LEGALIZE THE SUPPLY OF DUTCH-
GROWN CANNABIS ("NEDERWIET") TO COFFEESHOPS. THE
RESOLUTION, DRAFTED BY THE GOVERNMENT COALITION PARTY
OF PVDA, WAS SUPPORTED BY COALITION PARTNER D66, AND
OPPOSITION PARTIES OF GREENLEFT AND SOCIALISTS. THIRD
COALITION PARTY VVD, AND CHRISTIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES
OPPOSED.




3. THE RESOLUTION ASKS THE GOVERNMENT TO DRAW UP NEW
GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC PROSECUTORS OUTLINING THE STRICT
CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE CONTROLLED CULTIVATION OF
"NEDERWIET" AND THE CONTROLLED DELIVERY OF "NEDERWIET"
TO COFFEESHOPS WOULD BE "TOLERATED." UNDER THE
PROPOSAL, PRODUCTION OF AND TRADE IN SOFT DRUGS WOULD
REMAIN ILLEGAL.




4. THE LEFT-OF-CENTER PARTIES BELIEVE THAT THE
RESOLUTION, IF CARRIED OUT, WOULD BRING AN END TO THE
CONTROVERSIAL AND HYPOCRITICAL SITUATION OF
"TOLERATING" FRONT-DOOR SALES OF SOFT DRUGS IN
COFFEESHOPS, WHILE PROSECUTING BACK-DOOR DELIVERIES.




JUSTICE MINISTER AGAINST PROPOSAL


--------------------------




5. DUTCH JUSTICE MINISTER KORTHALS REJECTED THE
RESOLUTION. HE WANTS TO RAISE THE ISSUE IN A MEETING
OF THE FULL CABINET ON JUNE 30. ACCORDING TO KORTHALS,
THE PROPOSAL WOULD VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND
ENCOURAGE DRUG "TOURISM." MOREOVER, ACCORDING TO
KORTHALS, IT WOULD BE PARADOXICAL TO ALLOW THE DELIVERY
OF NEDERWIET BUT BAN MOROCCAN HASHISH.




6. IN A RECENT REPORT ON DUTCH SOFT DRUG POLICY,
KORTHALS ALSO CONFIRMED THAT THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT HAS
NO INTENTION OF CHANGING ITS SOFT DRUG POLICY (REFTEL).
KORTHALS REACTED TO PLEAS BY SOME 20 DUTCH MAYORS TO
ALLOW EXPERIMENTS WITH CONTROLLED CULTIVATION OF AND
TRADE IN DUTCH-GROWN CANNABIS. THE MAYORS HAD ARGUED
THAT CURRENT SOFT DRUG POLICY IS UNCLEAR AND HAS
UNDESIRABLE SIDE-EFFECTS, SUCH AS INCREASED PUBLIC
NUISANCE AND CRIME. THEY FELT THAT CONTROLLED
CULTIVATION AND TRADE IN NEDERWIET WOULD LEAD TO MORE
TRANSPARENCY, PUSH CRIMINALS OUT OF THE MARKET, AND
PROTECT USERS' HEALTH THROUGH PRODUCT QUALITY CONTROL.


COMMENT


--------------------------




7. IT IS VERY DOUBTFUL THAT KORTHALS WILL IMPLEMENT
THE RESOLUTION. HE FINDS MUCH SUPPORT WITHIN THE
GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY FROM PM KOK, WHO DOES NOT WANT
TO DAMAGE FOREIGN RELATIONS. THE TIMING IS BAD. FRANCE
WILL TAKE OVER EU PRESIDENCY AS OF JULY 1. THE FRENCH
HAVE ALWAYS PUT GREAT PRESSURE ON THE NETHERLANDS TO
SHARPEN ITS SOFT DRUG POLICY. THEY WILL CERTAINLY
OPPOSE THE PARLIAMENTARY RESOLUTION.




8. ON THE OTHER HAND, DOMESTIC PRESSURE WILL INCREASE.
THE RECENT SOFT DRUG REPORT NOTES A SIGNIFICANT
INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ILLEGAL OUTLETS FOR CANNABIS
SALE (I.E. NON-COFFEESHOPS), AND IN THE NUMBER OF
ILLEGAL CANNABIS GROWERS. THE REPORT OBSERVED THAT, IN
SOME CITIES, A LARGE PART OF HOME CULTIVATION IS IN THE
HANDS OF CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS, WHICH PUT PRESSURE ON
PEOPLE TO MAKE THEIR PROPERTY AVAILABLE FOR ILLEGAL
CULTIVATION. SEEMINGLY, MORE AND MORE LOCAL
AUTHORITIES WANT TO SOLVE THE DRUG PROBLEMS IN THEIR
CITIES BY DECRIMINALIZING SOFT DRUGS.
TOKOLA