A Frisian man has been found guilty of cultivating marijuana by the appeal court in Leeuwarden but will not be punished because he had done all he could to ensure a safe, legal supply to licenced coffee shops.
Doede de Jong, who is 66, was sentenced to two months in jail by a lower court and the public prosecution department called for a €230,000 fine on appeal.
Despite finding De Jong guilty on all counts, the appeal court judges said he had grown the marijuana plants in the open air, using organic pesticides, the NRC reports. ‘There was no question of fire safety issues or electricity theft,’ the court said. Nor was De Jong involved with criminals who produce cannabis.
The fact he only supplied licenced coffee shops and the quality of his marijuana was better than that from ‘normal’ plantantions also counted in his favour, the court is quoted as saying by the NRC
De Jong is the second ‘altruistic’ marijuana grower who has been found guilty in court but escaped punishment. A Groningen couple were found guilty by a lower court last year and escaped punishment. However, they were sentenced to three month suspended prison sentences on appeal.
Thursday’s ruling may have considerable impact on future cases involving marijuana production, the NRC says.
The government is under increasing pressure to allow regulated production to supply the cafes and remove the grey area between licenced sales and illegal production.