Holland is often quoted as a model for liberalising cannabis laws and it is a mistaken belief that the drug isn’t restricted there.
It is and those restrictions are about to be tightened:
The Dutch government is reclassifying high-strength cannabis to put it in the same category as hard drugs.
It says the amount of the main active chemical in the drug, THC, has gone up, making it far more potent than a generation ago.
It means the infamous coffee shops of Amsterdam and other cities will be forced to take the popular, high-strength varieties off their shelves, the BBC reports.
Dutch politicians say high-strength cannabis, known as “skunk”, is more dangerous than it was before.
In the future, anything containing more than 15% THC will be treated the same way as hard drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy.
The move is a big blow to the coffee shops – and means they will have to replace about 80% of their stock with weaker varieties.
Proponents of liberalising cannabis laws here portray it as harmless, or at least relatively so, but as the Dutch have discovered it is much stronger than it used to be and therefore more dangerous.