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Belgium Frees the Weed as Danish Dealers Strike

Author: Jonty Adderley (
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Personal possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis plants for personal use is to be legalised in Belgium as part of the country's new 'third way' approach to minimise the problems of drug use. Under the new scheme, smoking in public places will remain outlawed (meaning coffee shops will still be illegal) while 'problematic use' (to be defined by the police) will still be punishable by fines and possible jail for repeat offenders.

The newly enlightened Belgium approach came as cannabis suppliers in Denmark's famous Christiania quarter announced they were going on strike, to protest against political plans to demolish the renowned hippy zone.

A Christiania spokesperson told news agency Reuters that the strike could continue indefinitely, explaining "We want to show the government that an open market for soft drugs is better then forcing people on to streets where much harder stuff is sold illegally.