---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 12:32:36 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: Denmark: Cannabis Showdown In Christiania
Denmark: Cannabis Showdown In Christiania
Pubdate: Fri, 08 Mar 2002
Source: Copenhagen Post, The (Denmark)
Copyright: 2002 The Copenhagen Post
Address: 1264 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Phone: 33 36 33 00
Fax: 33 93 13 13
Author: Howard R. Knowles
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Cannabis)
CANNABIS SHOWDOWN IN CHRISTIANIA
After years of politicians and police turning a blind eye, the government
is now demanding the immediate cessation of the multi-million kroner
illegal cannabis trade in the 'free state' of Christiania.
Although the Social Democratic-led government introduced far-reaching
legislation last summer that provided the police with the authority to
immediately close down the hundreds of small 'hash-clubs' dotting the
city's landscape, the sale of myriad types of hash and marijuana on 'Pusher
Street' in Christiania has continued to flourish. One dealer recently
estimated that the ubiquitous stalls have a daily turnover of anything
between DKK 500,000 and 1million.
Conservative Party spokesman Helge Adam Moller is now demanding a reworking
of the politically agreed 'framework' for Christiania, which will give
Christiana residents three weeks to get rid of all drugs and drug dealers
in Christiania, or risk an annulment of the law that has allowed the old
'hippy' community to live in relative peace from the authorities for the
past thirty years.
'We can no longer tolerate the illegal and open cannabis trade that has
become a part of everyday life out there,' said Moller. 'If Christiania is
to be allowed to survive, then it has to become as law abiding as every
other community in Denmark - and if it doesn't, then we'll close it down.'
A spokesperson for Christiania, Britta Lillesoe, called the latest attack
on Christiania a typical 'knee-jerk reaction' from right-wing politicians.
'Instead of trying to criminalise the many thousands of customers who enjoy
hash every day, why don't they consider legalising it instead,' said
Lillesoe, who has often organised meetings on the public's perception of
However, despite residents' constant claims that the free and open sale of
cannabis helps to prevent users being tempted by 'harder' drugs,
Christiania continues to suffer from rumours of biker gangs distributing
heroin within its walls, and as late as last week was the scene of a
violent 'showdown' between cannabis traders and young immigrants attempting
to gain a foothold in the attractive multi-million kroner market.
For the first time in many years, Parliament will begin to discuss the
thorny issue of Christiania next month.
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