Minister of Ceremonies?
February 27, 2006 3:39 PM   Subscribe

What sequence of events could have led to such a thing?

Well, to start, Maastricht mayor Gerd Leers first recorded a song of his own (mp3) with a well-known regional punk band to emphasize his case for the regulation of marijuana growth and distribution; in Leers' opinion, Holland's drug policy is inconsistent and in fact harmful to his town, visited by an estimated 1.5 million "drug tourists" annually, mainly from neighbouring Belgium and Germany.

His point being: while possession (in small amounts) and retail of marijuana are famously "forbidden but not penalized" in the Netherlands, cultivation and wholesale are still illegal. This means that the sort-of-legal weed retailers still have to deal with illegal, in fact criminal, suppliers: the stuff has to come from somewhere.

Leers would like to see this process regulated by government, as the current discrepancy in policy, in Leers' view, causes a disproportionate strain on Maastricht's police forces, who by law have to crack down on growers/wholesalers regularly.

Donner disagrees, and takes to the mic to voice his pursuit of a more repressive drug policy. The kicker? Mayor Leers and minister Donner are members of the same political party. Of course.

By the way: Leers blogs, and Donner podcasts. (both in Dutch)

Video link (wmv) constructed from NOS news footage of Donner
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:40 PM on February 27, 2006

Since there are more literal translations of the words to both songs out there already, here's my attempt at a more interpretative (but still quick & dirty) translation:

Mayor Gerd Leers & De Heideroosjes - "Dat is toch dope man"


The government says: "you can't smoke weed, but we won't take you to task"
Shops can sell it, but where it comes from - don't ask!
You can smoke it, but cultivation is prohibited
I think that's strange - how can something that doesn't exist be legally distributed?

Man, isn't it dope?
That you can just light up a joint
As long as the grower remains unseen

So now, don't be such a hypocrite
Half-assed tolerance won't solve anything
Would that I ruled things
'Cause this uptight policy just stinks

It shouldn't come as a surprise
That alcohol is a hard drug in many people's eyes
It's been legal since day and age, hasn't it?
So why go ballistic over CAN-NA-BIS!

This policy rewards the criminal alone
I haven't got a degree in this, but this policy I call stoned!



My name is Gerd Leers, Maastricht mayor; my creed
Is to get get more kiddos off the weed
Eight thousand kilos coming in each year
More than a million come to obtain it here

Illegal growers we cannot control
Repression is no option, no law can meet that goal

I say: regulate, and pass legislation
To cut down on costs inessential to this nation

Then police and growers won't have to play catch
And to the strength of the stuff rules can be attached

Let's go to work with a clear policy
We'll put it to the test, and then we will see



Legalise and regulate


Minister of justice Piet Hein Donner (aka "The Don")


Binnenhof represent
The Don


In this land of sixteen million
Everyone has their own intention
Where everyone wants to try
But no-one wants to be patronised

In this land of the sixteen million wise
I ask: what do you intend to surmise?
The joint, the blunt, it brought us to fame
But the downsides, they never get named

This is Donner of Justice, speaking
Together with police we are working
So throw that dope in the dump
'Cause an addict Netherlands
Is something I'd rather not be seeing

All that blow's just gonna make you slow
So don't go being lame and stealing the show
Don't take drugs so lightly, get a clue
Be prepared for once, to learn a thing or two

Regulation will prove an unacceptable cost
It'll turn sour what sweet once was
With criminals lurking everywhere you look
It doesn't seem the way to go in my book

More and more seedlings under lamps' glow
Well the back door, I say, shall remain closed!
As confused as policy may sometimes seem
In this matter, firm I must be


Everywhere you look you see the rubbish growing
Home-growing's getting out of hand
And all the while the prisons are overflowing
All because of this simple hemp plant

Only a few enjoy the money they gross
The rest of them are pale as ghosts
So those attics will have to be cleaned out
It's not something I'd feel right being silent about

Yes, we want the drugs off the streets
We're done talking, now let's be concrete
Dope smokers, you'd better take note!

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:44 PM on February 27, 2006

Fantastic post! Thank you for the translation.
posted by adrianhon at 3:51 PM on February 27, 2006

holy smokes! awesome tuneage, dude!
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:11 PM on February 27, 2006

Nifty indeed.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:23 PM on February 27, 2006

awesome. The ultimate EuroVision contest.
posted by ruelle at 4:33 PM on February 27, 2006

Well while it wasnt rap, didn't Ashcroft have an album out while he was AG?
posted by SirOmega at 5:30 PM on February 27, 2006

I love my dutch heritage.
posted by Eekacat at 7:14 PM on February 27, 2006

I'm finding this awesome only until my coworkers find it and start making fun of Holland & me.
posted by easternblot at 7:51 PM on February 27, 2006

Also: the Heideroosjes are still around? I'm so out of the loop...
posted by easternblot at 7:52 PM on February 27, 2006

why can't american politics be more like this? this makes me want to move there.

maybe i would have backed the iraq war if bush had a rap battle with the UN.
posted by teishu at 9:37 PM on February 27, 2006

And it's Donner of all people! The guy is the most archaic, calvinist regent out there. He looks and talks as if he was teleported from a previous century. And now a rap song?

By the way: for those concerned about your environmentalist image: forget hybrid cars, this guy still rides a bike to work, even when visiting the queen.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 11:27 PM on February 27, 2006

Meh... go back to cartoons.
posted by wfrgms at 12:15 AM on February 28, 2006

Yes. Yes, that makes sense.
posted by jrengreen at 3:44 AM on February 28, 2006

Just wacky!
posted by OmieWise at 6:19 AM on February 28, 2006

Awesome! Did the mp3 link die?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:28 AM on February 28, 2006

Both mp3 links working fine here, IIHAA.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:15 PM on February 28, 2006

West side!
posted by stevil at 6:11 AM on March 4, 2006

West side of where?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:15 AM on March 4, 2006

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