Coffeeshops want say in Amsterdam marijuana production
Amsterdam, like Utrecht, Heerlen and Eindhoven, plans to experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation. No less than five parties in the Amsterdam city council want a selected grower to produce weed. The D66, VVD, SP, PvdA and GroenLinks think that this is a good idea. According to them, a grower who has been chosen by the municipality will improve control and ensure monitoring. The coffee shops in Amsterdam welcome the plan wholeheartedly. "It would take a lot of stress off the entrepreneurs. You currently run a greater risk to be closed, because it is not yet regulated. You pay taxes, but if you buy weed, you're a criminal." says Ron Schuitema, manager of the coffee shop De Dampkring. The coffee shop owners do have one concern - that they will no longer be able to decide who they buy their weed from. "It should not become a state grower where uniformity comes from. Then it becomes just the Febo." It may still be some time before this system can be put in place. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan wants to lobby for a trail with regulated cannabis cultivation, but he does not see that experiment starting right away. Utrecht, Eindhoven and Heerlen are also still in the planning phase. Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice (VVD) remains strongly opposed to lifting the ban on cannabis. His spokesperson said that a trial with the regulation of cannabis cultivation can not happen under law and international treaties. "Moreover, it does not solve the problems with crime and nuisance around cannabis cultivation. The majority of the hemp grown here is destined for export and must, also in regulation, still be fought."