Belgium in Brief: Buying weed in Brussels

Belgium in Brief: Buying weed in Brussels
Credit: Belga

If only there were a place where you could legally buy weed in Brussels.

While this is undoubtedly a sentiment expressed by a number of people who do not feel like going all the way to the Netherlands to get their joints, the latest person to publicly wish for coffee shops in Belgium's capital city came as quite a surprise: Philippe Close, the mayor of Brussels.

"I genuinely do not know anyone who has never tried a joint," he said in an interview with a Dutch newspaper.

The issue in Belgium, according to Close, is that people whose use gets out of hand do not know where to go. "Users are only seen as criminals. This can all be done much better."

He wants Belgium to legalise, distribute, produce and control cannabis, and also start prevention programmes – like in the Canadian province of Québec. "Too often, people who use drugs are still seen as failures today. We push them away, but I say: let’s help them."

"I see a joint like I see a glass of whisky," Close explained. "If you have one on a Saturday evening, you do not have a problem. But if you start your day with it, you do. And then you need help."

If there is a framework to regulate cannabis in place, however, Close "hopes" that a coffee shop will soon open in Brussels.

What do you think, would you want a coffee shop in Brussels? Let @Maajtee know.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

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