The Netherlands legalize cannabis cultivation

EVERT ELZINGA

Cannabis cultivation in the basement of The Cannabis Company in Amsterdam, The Netherland, 21 February 2017. Members of the Dutch Second Chamber have approved the wietwet (marijuana law), which tolerated the cultivation of Cannabis. The legislative proposal must put an end to the practice whereby cannabis is allowed to be sold in a coffee shop, but not grown or supplied.

The Netherlands legalize cannabis cultivation


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The Dutch lower house of parliament approved the cultivation of cannabis on Tuesday.

The bill must also pass through the Senate to become law, while the public prosecutor has raised concerns it may be contravening international law. However, a bill that makes it in the lower chamber is rarely blocked in the Senate.

Although the possession and use of cannabis is allowed in the Netherlands, the new bill will partially legalize production. The law is intended to reduce the reliance of coffee shops from criminal networks.

A Radboud University study published in 2016 suggested that legalizing cannabis production could reduce the spread of legionella bacteria, promote environmental sustainability, and reduce gang violence.

The law has the support of several local councils, not to mention the Coffee Shop Union.

The bill was introduced by the Liberal party, D66, and was backed by Labour, GroenLinks, the Socialists, and a number of smaller parties. The bill was opposed by the ruling VVD and, the far-right Party of Freedoms (PVV), and Christian fundamentalist parties. The result was a close with 77 ayes and 72 nays.

 

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