Dutch MPs vote to legalize cannabis farming

A narrow majority of Dutch parliament members voted to allow the cannabis cultivation, a move that further liberalizes a somewhat cumbersome drug policy where the selling of cannabis is tolerated but buying it abs growing it are illegal. Just 77 MPs out of 150 voted in favor of the proposal brought forward on Tuesday by centrist party D66.

The rule must still pass the Senate, or Eerste Kamer. It is not clear if a majority exists in favor of the law change in the Senate.

The goal of the proposal is to reduce organized crime across the cannabis industry, something many mayors in southern and eastern municipalities have requested from parliament.

Further regulation of the industry should allow better controls on the harvesting of cannabis, guaranteeing adherence to safe practices. It is also suspected that those who grow and sell the drug could become more likely to pay income tax on their business profits.