Belgium to legalise cannabis

Author: Datamining by FreeminderĀ©
Date: Apr 7, 2003
Views: 2055

Andrew Osborn, Brussels
Saturday March 29, 2003

The Belgian parliament has voted to legalise the personal use of
cannabis, within certain guidelines, for anyone over the age of 18.
The move, which has been the subject of fierce debate in Belgium for
the last two years, will allow users to smoke small quantities of the
drug in private, provided they do not disturb public order.

Its sale will, however, remain illegal and Belgium will not tolerate
Dutch-style coffee shops selling cannabis over the counter. Hard drugs
will continue to be outlawed.

The possession of up to 5g of cannabis for personal use will no longer
be punishable and police officers who find such quantities in routine
searches will take no action.

The country's ruling coalition of Liberals, Socialists and Greens said
it had been trying to decriminalise use of the soft drug since 2001.

The new law cleared the final hurdle after the Belgian senate voted by
a margin of 30 to 19 to adopt it.

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