Dutch cities renew call for regulated cannabis cultivation

Almost 90 percent of Dutch municipalities support a call on the government to allow experiments with regulated cannabis cultivation, was revealed in a vote at the association of Dutch municipalities VNG's annual conference on Wednesday.

Currently it is legal in the Netherlands to sell soft-drugs, but illegal to cultivate them on a large scale or supply them. The municipalities believe this plays into the hands of criminals. Instead they want the cultivation and sale of soft drugs like cannabis to be in the hands of permit holders. According to the municipalities, this would allow better action against illicit cannabis cultivation and sales, as well as the serious crime that often accompanies it.

According to NRC, the VNG wants to put pressure on the government with this joint call, which should carry more sway than previous calls by only a few mayors. By renewing the call now, the VNG hopes to make regulated cannabis cultivation a theme for the next parliamentary election, happening next year.

A study by Radboud University Nijmegen, released last month, concluded that international law does allow regulated cannabis cultivation. According to the researchers, regulating cannabis cultivation would reduce violent crime surrounding illicit cultivation and could therefore arguably protect human rights. Human rights outweigh the UN drug conventions that prohibit cannabis cultivation and trade.