Defending Iain Duncan Smith

Never really thought I\’d write that. Still. The Devil:

Erm, cannabis is illegal in Holland? Really?

I don\’t think so, sunshine.


Cannabis remains a controlled substance in the Netherlands and both possession and production for personal use are still misdemeanors, punishable by fine. Coffee shops are also illegal according to the statutes.

However, a policy of non-enforcement has led to a situation where reliance upon non-enforcement has become common, and because of this the courts have ruled against the government when individual cases were prosecuted.

This is because the Dutch Ministry of Justice applies a gedoogbeleid (policy of tolerance or allowance policy) with regard to soft drugs: an official set of guidelines telling public prosecutors under which circumstances offenders should not be prosecuted. This is a more official version of the common practice in other countries, in which law enforcement sets priorities as to which offenses are important enough to spend limited resources on.

Yes, illegal, but not enforced very much. Rather like the British attitude to burglary. Prefer it the other way around of course, here.


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