About 250 Flemish Liberals and Democrats from the Open VLD party gathered in Antwerp on Saturday for a day of congress. The party endorsed a statement by the youth party VLD that cannabis should be legalized in Belgium.
For party president Egbert Lachaert: “The legalization of soft drugs is an important step. Nor does removing them from criminal law encourage its use. »
And to continue “With the proceeds from the sale of cannabis, Open VLD wants to do prevention, as is the case today for alcohol and cigarettes. An amendment proposing to examine whether all drugs can be removed from the penal code was rejected by members of Congress. »
The original proposal read as follows:
“Cannabis is removed from the criminal law and therefore made legal. Under the Canadian model, consumption by adults is permitted. Production, distribution and sales are regulated and controlled by the government.
At the same time, when it comes to drugs, the government must invest more in prevention, deterrence and treatment. We are creating a legal framework for harm reduction. »
Binnengehaald op het congres: na een jarenlange strijd van @jongvld wil nu ook @openvld cannabis uit de strafwet.
Eindelijk. De wetenschap weet het al lang: bevordert niet enkel vrijheid, maar ook de volksgezondheid en est een aderlating voor de criminaliteit. De weg vooruit. 👊 pic.twitter.com/G92zfFbX9A
—Jong VLD (@Jongvld) September 17, 2022
And the other parties?
Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of the Mouvement Réformateur (MR), the party of Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, stated in an interview that he was personally in favor of the legalization of cannabis.
The mayor of Brussels and member of the Socialist Party, Philippe Close, calls for the legalization of cannabis.
The Ecolo party follows the PS, with the idea of decriminalization which takes the question out of the judiciary to focus on a health angle. The Engaged are of the same opinion. DéFI also wishes to regulate consumption and sales.
In Flanders, the parties are much cooler. The CD&V (like the N-VA and the Vlaams Belang) is clearly against the decriminalization of drugs for recreational use. Vooruit is favorable, Groen too.