Coffee shops in the Netherlands will be forced to stop the sale of “strong” cannabis after new restrictions by the Dutch government.
The Dutch government said Friday that it would move to classify high-potency marijuana alongside hard drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, the latest step in a continuing reversal of the country’s famed tolerance policies.
Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen said marijuana containing more than 15 percent THC, its main active chemical, is so much stronger than what was common a generation ago that it should be considered a different drug. The decision means most of the marijuana now sold in designated cafes would have to be replaced by milder variants.
The Dutch government says high THC content is detrimental to mental health, particularly when used at a young age, and that it wants to send a clear signal that strong cannabis poses an unacceptable risk to users.