Dutch parliament to vote on regulated cannabis production today

Cannabis plants
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flowering_Cannabis_Plants.JPGImpression of a cannabis plantation. (Cannabis Training University/ Wikimedia)

On Tuesday the lower house of Dutch parliament is voting on a D66 proposal that will put an end to the Netherlands' policy that cannabis may be sold in the country, but not cultivated. The law for regulated cannabis cultivation is very controversial, but seems to be able to count on a narrow majority of 76 votes, according to the Telegraaf.

This very narrow majority is the result of years of political debates on the matter. The majority was reached in September last year, when parliamentarians Louis Bontes and Joram van Klaveren of VNL expressed their support. This means that, if all parties vote like they said they would, the D66, PvdA, SP, GroenLinks, 50Plus, PvdD and VNL will vote for the law. VVD, CDA, PV, ChristenUnie and SGP will vote against it.

The law is officially called the Closed Coffeeshop Chain Act. It states that professional growers who keep to a set of strict conditions may be granted a permit to cultivate cannabis. This means they can not be criminally prosecuted for their cannabis crop. Supporters of the law hope that it will reduce crime currently associated with cannabis production.

Vera Begkamp (D66) called today an exciting day. "It is very important that we get a majority for our initiative bill to regulate cannabis production", she said to the Telegraaf. "If the bill makes it, we break a deadlock that's lasted far too long and we and we accommodate all those mayors, municipalities and Dutch who want to get rid of the current skew tolerance policy where you can sell weed, but cannot grow or buy it."