Video: Dutch news roundup, 5 March 2011
On this week's show: the government is getting tough on grow shops, the elderly were pivotal in provincial elections, a leaked memo caused concern about non-emergency ambulance use, and cashiers clash with customers when refusing to sell alcohol to minors.
In the Netherlands, it's legal to grow a small number of marijuana plants for personal use, but each year authorities discover and destroy hundreds of illegal weed farms. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 are scattered around the country. To combat this, the government wants to target grow shops, which provide the seeds and equipment necessary to run a pot farm.
In the hands of older voters
Provincial elections were held this past week and, for the governing coalition, a lot was riding on the results. These local elections have national significance because the provincial representatives select the members of the upper house of parliament, the Senate. Prime Minister Mark Rutte's cabinet was hoping to secure a majority in the Senate, but it looks like they will fall just short. This could make passing legislation difficult. Surprisingly, this election cycle was not about the youth vote, but instead the political preferences of voters over the age of 50.