Four of five biggest cities want legal cannabis farming
It seems that a number of cities in the Netherlands will start with an experiment with controlled cannabis cultivation next year, despite the fact that Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice is still firmly opposed to the idea.
Utrecht is ready with the plan for a "social cannabis club". Amsterdam and Rotterdam want certified marijuana growers to deliver to coffee shops. Towns like Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Heerlen are examining how it can best be regulated in their municipalities. Arnhem joined the club today.
This year 53 mayors signed the so called weed manifesto - an initiative from Heerlen, Utrecht and Eindhoven. In this manifesto the mayor urge Opstelten to legalize marijuana as it would better for the public health and safety.
According to the experimental cities, Optelten holds too rigidly to his opinion while the world has changed around him. People are allowed to buy cannabis, but not allowed to grow it. "We now permit a system that exists by virtue of an illegal market in the hands of criminals. I can not explain it" said Heerlen Mayor Paul Depla in the Tijdschrif voor de Politie.
The mayors got a big boost when the judge in Groningen convicted two marijuana growers, but imposed no penalty because they acted according to the Dutch tolerance policy. The Public Prosecutor appealed this verdict.