High-potency marijuana may have to be replaced with milder variants, with Holland pushing to classify high-potency marijuana in the same group as hard drugs, such as cocaine
Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen explained that marijuana with over 15 percent of THC, its main active chemical, is much stronger than marijuana
decades ago. As such, it should be considered as a different drug.
There are doubts on how to implement the plan, however. Gerrit-Jan ten Bloomendal, the spokesman for the Platform of Cannabis Businesses in the Netherlands, asked: "How are we going to know whether a given batch exceeds 15 percent THC? For that matter, how would health inspectors know?''
Jeffrey Parsons, a psychologist at Hunter College in New York, also doubts if this plan would actually yield its expected benefits. He said: "If it encourages smoking an increased amount of low-concentration THC weed, it is likely to actually cause more harm than good." He explained that extra inhalation of marijuana
may increase the risk of lung damage and cancer.
This move is part of the ongoing Dutch crackdown on marijuana
, which saw the government announcing plans to ban tourists from buying weed. The city of Amsterdam, where marijuana cafes actually attract tourists, resisted the plan.