The Netherlands has announced a new measure to combat the problem of drunkenness, banning the sale of alcohol after 6 pm. However, the Dutch government has decided to keep the coffeeshops, where cannabis can be legally purchased and consumed, open 24 hours a day.
The move has sparked mixed reactions from the public and experts. Some praised the decision as a way to reduce alcohol-related harms and crimes. Others criticized it as contradictory and ineffective, arguing that cannabis use could also impair judgment and coordination.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, defended the new policy, saying that it was based on scientific studies and cultural values. He also denied that he was a regular user of cannabis, despite rumors circulating on social media.
“We are not trying to make people high, we are trying to make them sober,” he said in a press conference. “Cannabis is a natural herb that has a calming and relaxing effect. Alcohol is a toxic substance that causes aggression and violence. It is clear which one is more conducive to social harmony.”
He added that the ban on alcohol sales would not affect his personal life, as he preferred to drink tea and water.
The new policy will take effect from Monday, September 4, and will last until further notice. The Dutch authorities have urged the public to follow the rules and respect the law.
“We are all in this together,” Rutte said. “We have to be smart and responsible. And remember, if you feel stressed or anxious, just light up a joint and relax.”