LEGAL CANNABIS CULTIVATION IN NETHERLANDS TO TEST ORGANIZED CRIME IMPACT
By Janene Pieters on October 9, 2017 – 11:20
The new Dutch government is planning an experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation, to see if this legal cultivation will decrease organized crime and increase the safety of cannabis in the country. In the experiment, the government will give one organization a government license to grow cannabis, which will be distributed in six to 10 municipalities, RTL Nieuws reports.
Which organization will grow the government cannabis, and how exactly will be handled, is not yet clear. Municipalities can sign up for the experiment. The intention is that mainly large and medium sized municipalities take part.
Under current Dutch law, it is legal for coffeeshops to sell cannabis, but it is illegal to buy and cultivate the drugs, according to RTL. In practice it means that coffeeshops buy their supply through criminals, which presents a lot of danger and problems.
In addition to decreasing organized crime, the new government also hopes that this legally cultivated weed will have benefits for public health. Illegally grown cannabis may contain harmful substances, as no one regulates it.
This experiment can be considered a breakthrough. Dutch municipalities have long been advocating for experimenting with regulated cannabis cultivation. The four parties in the government formation process are divided on the issue. The D66 has always been for regulating this. The VVD always spoke out against it in parliament, though a majority of VVD members voted for regulated cultivation at the party congress last year. The two Christian parties – CDA and ChristenUnie – are against it, saying that the government must do everything in its power to keep addictive substances out of society, according to RTL.