D66 Liberals to draft regulated marijuana production proposal

The D66 Liberal party, currently the second biggest party in the country in recent polls, is drawing up draft legislation for the regulated production of marijuana.

At the moment it is illegal to grow marijuana. This means there is a grey area between the official policy of turning a blind eye towards possessing small amounts of marijuana and the supply to cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops.

D66 parliamentarian Magda Berndsen is now working on proposals to change this. She says the police spend too much time tracking down marijuana plantations which could be better spent on other crimes.

Police discover and dismantle around 5,500 plantations every year even though experts say there are around 30,000 at any one time, RTL said earlier.

The MP also says regulation is the only way to control the impact of using marijuana on the health of users because the government would be able to determine the strength of the drug.

Pressure

Pressure for change has also come from local government. In total, 26 of the Netherlands’ 38 largest local authority areas support some form of government legalised or organised marijuana production, Nos television said earlier this month.

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten opposes legalising marijuana cultivation but has pledged to update parliament on the situation by the end of the year. At the moment, 18 different plans for organised production have been submitted to his department, Nos said.

Experts estimate cannabis cafes spend a total of €600m on marijuana a year.