Thursday, 11 June 2015 - 10:59
Labour MP: Regulate the quality of Dutch cannabis
The PvdA is advocating for better quality control on cannabis as an interim solution now that the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, has voted against legalizing its cultivation. PvdA parliamentarian Marith Rebel told NU that the government's refusal to legalize cannabis cultivation does not mean it can ignore the health responsibility. She pointed out that cannabis is the only legally sold product in the Netherlands that does not have any quality control. "Criminal gangs will not grow organically", Rebel said. "They use pesticides to quickly harvest as much as possible. Moreover, the weed may be contaminated with addictive and bad chemicals." The PvdA wants sold weed to be subjected to a quality test, in which the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority tests the products for contaminants and pesticides. Eventually coffee shops should be fined for selling contaminated cannabis. "If we tolerate the use, the product must be as safe as possible and people's health should not be jeopardized by contaminated weed. I hope that other parties dare to come out of their ideological trenches to support this practical proposal", Rebel said. The PvdA, along with several other parties, previously advocated for making cannabis cultivation legal, saying that this would break down the criminal aspect thereof. A majority in the Tweede Kamer voted against the proposal, however. Recently the Tweede Kamer also adopted a CDA proposal to prohibit municipalities from experimenting with regulated cannabis cultivation. The Tweede Kamer will have a debate on cannabis cultivation with Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice on Thursday.