D66 wants marijuana export investigation

Minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten has to investigate what percentage of marijuana cultivation in the Netherlands is being used for export. This is what MP for D66, Magda Berndsen, claims is the party's wish. Opstelten finds that the export is an important argument against experimenting with regulated marijuana cultivation.

He claims that the control solves nothing about nuisance and criminality, because 80 percent of the cultivation disappears over the border. He bases his argument on data from the police and the Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie). Other parties are taking the figures with a grain of salt. Among others, various mayors of 'coffeeshop cities' who met last Friday in Utrecht. The mayor of Zwijdrecht, Dominic Schijer, judged that the proportion is more likely to be 50/50, and that also in the report on which Opstelten is basing his opinion, there is speak of an "educated guess". D66 wants to conduct an investigation through the Research and Documentation Center (WODC). "In his objection, the minister fences with figures which are disputed by many. Let the minister prove it, only then we can discuss further", Berndsen said. Coalition party PvdA, a big proponent of regulated marijuana cultivation, does not yet want to support Berndsen's request. MP Marith Rebel declares that a reaction from Opstelten on the manifest of the mayors  is wanted first. It has bothered Berndsen for a while that Optselten, despite the pressure from coffeeshop municipalities and coalition partner PvdA, doesn't want to know about experiments with regulated marijuana cultivation. According to advocates, the regulation will lead to less criminality and more controllable marijuana. Opstelten says that, due to international treaties, it is not possible to permit regulation. Opstelten knows that he is supported by a majority in Parliament. At the end of last year, a majority voted against a motion to keep regulation open as an option. On Saturday, he claimed that the mayors will eventually side with his decision not to regulate. The House of Parliament will soon debate with Opstelten about marijuana cultivation.

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