Marijuana production legalization proposed ahead of election

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The D66 wants to legalize cannabis farming. Member of Parliament Magda Brendsen is presenting a legislative proposal today which will allow pot farmers to get an exemption to grow cannabis under strict conditions.

This is a proposal that should get a lot of support from the population in general, which may be a good move by the D66 with the provincial elections around the corner. In December of 2013, 25 mayors joined a campaign, led by the mayors of Eindhoven and Heerlen, asking Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) to allow them to do a test run on regulated marijuana cultivation. By the end of January last year 10 more mayors joined the campaign, but the minister still refused, claiming that it would be illegal and will not solve the problem. Four out of the five largest cities in the Netherlands is also keen to experiment with controlled cannabis cultivation.

In Brendsen's proposal cultivating and supplying cannabis remains illegal, but growers can get an exemption under strict conditions. This exemption will allow them to cultivate regulated cannabis and supply it to coffee shops, provided that they meet all the conditions. Coffee shops will then also only be allowed to sell regulated cannabis, everything else is illegal.

According to the D66, regulating cannabis will limit the health risks for those who smoke it, as it would ensure that no dangerous pesticides are used or other harmful substances are added. This proposal will also bring in extra revenue of at least 500 million euros, due to savings in police and judiciary and added excise duties.