so explains the above link to a NYTimes article in today's edition.
Basically the new law will restrict Holland's 680 coffeeshops - which sell cannabis over the counter to anyone over 18 - not exactly legally but tolerated by Dutch authorities - to Dutch residents as well as classifying extra potent pot as a hard drug like heroin and ban its sale in coffeeshops.
Interesting the article points out the 14% of all Americans smoke pot whilst only 5% of Dutch folk do so - proof to many that legalization of cannabis will not necessarily boost the number of pot smokers - using Holland as a model for that.
Wow how things turn around. If you told me a few years ago that I could legally buy cannabis from dispensaries in my home state of Michigan (after getting a medical marijuana permit which. any adult seems able to qualify for, including me!) and that I would not be able to legally buy cannabis in Amsterdam.... well I would have said you're nuts!
The online article has a picture of the 420 Cafe, where many Americans hang out - 4:20 being a code word for pot smoking - extant from when a group of high school kids in California every day at 4:20pm would gather to light up a joint and get high - subsequently popularized in some movie I believe.
Anyway Holland has taken quite a right-wing turn lately in many regards - such as its anti-immigrant politicians who even I think are considering banning the veil - Amsterdam's red-light district is being done away with in its present in your face form and on and on...
But though the law is being phased in starting May 1 of this year in southern Holland and Jan 1, 2013 in all of Holland the article quotes folks who doubt it will ever be applied nationwide and law suits challenging it could be successful. The mayor of Amsterdam especially does not want any change - pot tourism being a boon for Amstterdam and pot sales from Holland to Europe it is said exceed the gross take of the flower industry!
Holland's ballyhooed tolerance seems to be a thing of the past. The Pilgrims probably would not even have been let into Rotterdam to set sail for America under this government.
OTOH - another NYTimes story about Holland's euthanasia law, where sick folk can get help to end it all, may prove this is still a forward thinking society - 2% of all deaths in Holland says the article are due to euthanasia, with mobile facilitators coming right into the home - oh yeh Santorum said 5% but the article says 2%.
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