Ruling party to support regulated cannabis cultivation after all

Cannabis plants of a cannabis plantation. (Cannabis Training University/ Wikimedia)

It seems that ruling party VVD will support regulating cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands after all. During a VVD conference in Noordwijkerhout a vast majority of party members forced the party leaders to change their positition on this issue by voting in a proposal for "smarter regulatioin" brought by party members in Zuid-Nederland, Trouw reports.

The VVD members in Zuid-Nederland is tired of the current tolerance policy which allows the sale of cannabis, but not the purchase of it. Due to this, cannabis production happens unattended in the criminal circuit, according to the VVD faction leader in six Brabant municipalities and the Brabant States faction. They wanted to  take the cannabis production for coffeeshops out of the criminal circuit and monitor the quality of the product. 

Party members thought this proposal went too far, but 80 percent were willing to support the less severe version calling for "smarter regulation" of cultivation and sale of cannabis. This wording will now be added to the VVD's party program for the election coming up in March next year.

According to Trouw, this officially puts an end to the strict course set by former VVD Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice in 2010. He was completely against reguated cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands. According to him, most of the cannabis produced in the Netherlands ends up abroad and regulating this cultivation would be more expensive than fighting the crime involved in unregulated cultivation.

Opstelten's successor Ard van der Steur continued the anti-regulated cultivation course and it was also supported by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. It seems that they will now have to change their tune.