Belgium Considering "Coffee Shop Culture"

Liz Filmer
30 Jul 2022

To help continue the trend of relaxing cannabis prohibition in NATO and EU regions, Brussels is looking toward possibly having "cannabis coffee shops" along the lines of those found in Amsterdam. 

It is currently illegal to sell or possess cannabis in Belgium. However, in 2003, Belgium decriminalised limited personal use of cannabis. This applies only to amounts of 3g or less and is on the condition that the user is not making a public nuisance of themselves. Medical use of cannabis is legal but limited to the use of Sativex oral spray for multiple sclerosis, only.

Philippe Close, the socialist Mayor of Brussels, has compared smoking cannabis to enjoying a glass of whiskey. He has proposed the creation of cannabis cafes where customers can legally buy and smoke the drug. He supports the idea of a proposal that would licence locations where cannabis could be purchased and allow possession of up to three grams of smokeable flower.

In a conversation with Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, he stated, "I see a joint like I see a glass of whisky." and further expressed his hopes of Brussels following the example of Amsterdam.

The Mayor also reiterated his proposal for the full decriminalisation of cannabis use in Belgium as the first step toward legalisation.

A few days prior to these comments that the Mayor made in an interview with the Dutch publication, he had also called for the Belgian media to hold a peaceful debate about the option of decriminalisation and the ultimate legalisation of cannabis through a 'national drug plan that would partially be in imitation of the Netherlands.

Are these the first signs of European neighbours beginning to follow the example set by Germany in recent months? Hopefully so.





Liz Filmer