Belgian court slams cannabis law
21 October 2004
BRUSSELS – A Belgian court has annulled a part of a 2003 law relating to the possession and use of cannabis, it was reported Thursday.
The court said that the legislation, which allowed users to smoke small amounts of the drug in private as long as they do not disturb public order, was too unclear.
According to the court, the police have too much discretion to assess the psychological, medical or social situation of the user and there is too much room for interpretation.
Belgian Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said she was not surprised by the court’s decision.
She pledged to find a way to establish a set of priorities concerning cannabis consumption.
“It’s not ideal but it’s better than nothing,” she told her cabinet.
Onkelinx has promised to work with Health Minister Rudy Demotte to draw up new, clearer rules on cannabis.
The 2003 law aimed to penalise cannabis dealers and combat consumption of the drug while promoting its use for medicinal purposes.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news