MPs block cities from harvesting marijuana

The Cabinet must not allow municipalities to grow their own weed.  A narrow majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, supported this motion brought by the CDA on Tuesday. 75 parliamentarians voted for, 70 voted against.

Many municipalities want to experiment with the production of cannabis for coffee shops, despite the cabinet being against regulated marijuana. Municipalities like Utrecht, Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Rotterdam are investigating whether there are opportunities for communal recreational cannabis cultivation. The Cabinet must now ensure that those plans are not implemented, according to the CDA motion by Peter Oskam, the Volkskrant reports.

According to the Cabinet, regulated cannabis cultivation dos not contribute to the fight against organized crime and is not compatible with international legal obligations. According to municipalities, regulated cannabis cultivation will lead to less crime and fewer health risks because the production will be monitored.

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb finds the outcome "unfortunate", he told Volkskrant. According to him, the "close call" in the vote shows that the Kamer is as divided on the issue as society. "As a municipality we can do nothing if the legislature does not give us the room. We will discuss this with involved municipalities. We remain committed to make regulated cannabis cultivation possible."