Dutch put pot in class with heroin

Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Strong strains of marijuana will be designated Class A drugs in the Netherlands, the same category as heroin and cocaine, a minister said.

Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten told the Dutch Parliament "hard drugs have no place in the coffee shops," DutchNews.nl reported Tuesday.

Opstelten said under the plan coffee shops in the Netherlands will only be allowed to sell cannabis with a THC level of less than 15 percent.

He did not say when the new restriction will go into effect but coffee shop owners are already expressing opposition.

Mark Josemans, a spokesman for the Maastrict owners association, said the change will move sales to the streets.

"Weak weed in the coffee shops, strong weed on the streets -- then the choice is pretty clear," Josemans said.

A report prepared for the Dutch government last year said marijuana with more than 15 percent THC is so dangerous it should be classified alongside heroin.

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