Nachricht von Marc Josemans

Marc Josemans, Eigentümer des momentan geschlossenen Coffeeshops “Easy Going” in Maastricht, Vorsitzender des VOCM (Verband der Maastrichter Coffeeshops) und Kläger gegen den Wietpas, hat mir eine Mail geschrieben als Reaktion auf die Aktion “Danke Marc!” hier im Blog, die ich Euch nicht vorenthalten möchte.

Hi Stefan,

This is a reaction on all the fine compliments on your website: thanks for the support.

I visited your blog and was impressed: always nice to see you’re not alone in this battle. Because that’s what you can call it: the new Dutch war on drugs. Incredible to realise that after 36 years of a proven successful tolerance policy on soft drugs, the results speak for themselves and are available for everybody who is interested, a small group of moralistic politicians use symbol politics to gain voters. Because of the fact that many voters of the Dutch liberal party (VVD) were lost to the party for freedom (a xenophobic unrealistic political party) they try to win them back by giving “law and order” to the country… With the predicted counterproductive effects which we see happening already all over the 3 southern provinces of Holland: more illegal selling, less separation between soft and hard drugs and criminalising of the cannabis consumers by forcing them to buy their products at an illegal dealer. But these where the original reasons why we started with our Dutch toleration policy in 1976, that is the reason behind our resistance: we know we are in our right.

So what can we expect for changes in the coming months? I’m sorry to say that probably not much will chance until the verdict comes in the Maastricht court case somewhere at the end of this year.

The new rule for Dutch residents has proved to be destructive: only 10% of our former visitors want to registrate themselves permanently. And they are right of course: as long as we cannot guarantee safety about their privacy it is not a wise idea to register yourself. Why would or should you? Imagine the Barack Obama, who admitted that he smoked weed in his youth, would have been forced to register himself at an American coffeeshop in those days. Everybody will agree that today he would never have made it to president of the USA, these facts can and will be used against you! But reality learns that around 90% of the residents in Maastricht do not want to register so they will visit the illegal circuit. Weed taxis are available now in great numbers and a street dealer can be found easily. With thanks to our minister of justice who shows himself as a good employer for criminal organizations.

The loss on jobs and economic influence is gigantic, especially in these times: before our foreign visitors spent € 119 million (1.617 full time jobs) each year on hotels, food and drinks, parking etc. So as you can see the foreign coffeeshop visitors were of great economic importance to the city of Maastricht, and most of that is all lost now. For no reason at all….

We will have new elections on the 12th of September, maybe they will change something. But most politicians are afraid to take their stand on cannabis. So do not count on their logics but try to organise in your own country and make it clear to your policy makers and politicians that it is about time they take their own responsibility. There are an estimated 23 million European cannabis consumers and no government seems to take their responsibility by creating a transparent and realistic soft drugs policy for these consumers, that is simply not possible! People always have used cannabis and other drugs (Mesopotamians 5000 years ago) and always will. With this knowledge in mind, every policy maker should want to create a regulation policy with prevention, information, transparency and as least as possible negative side effects for the consumer and society. Public health care through a separation between drugs and decriminalisation of the consumer by creating safe places where products can be sold and used. But also production should be regulated: a transparent system from A till Z for production, selling and consumption of cannabis and other soft drugs.

And only then we will finally see the last step: legalisation of soft drugs by uniform European drugs law. But that can only be the last step, not the first. Changes must start from within every country.

So fight for your rights to consume a proven less dangerous product than alcohol, fight for your right to grow a plant of your choice at home and never let anybody tell you how to lead your live. We know very well for ourselves what works and what doesn’t. The fact that most pot smokers do not live up to the same standards (in my opinion higher…) than the average politician should not make a difference at all. But it does, and therefore we must use our right to vote. If we use this right in an organised and massive way, we can make a difference. Yes we can, said the famous former pot smoker. And indeed, he could. So why can’t you?! Stand up for your rights and try to make clear to everybody that a pot smoker makes a well-balanced choice in his/her way of life. There is nothing to hide or to be ashamed for. I am a pothead for 35 years and a coffeeshop owner for almost 30 years now, and I am still extremely proud and happy with my line of work!

Warm regards and thanks for all the support, Marc Josemans

Edit: In den Kommentaren befindet sich jetzt auch eine deutsche Übersetzung. Mein Dank geht an unseren Leser Jenz für die Mühe, die er sich gemacht hat!